Acute coronary syndrome is associated with intracoronary thrombosis secondary to platelet activation. Previous groups have investigated platelet activation in both stable and unstable vascular disease. Most measures of platelet activation are not routinely available or easily adaptable to large scale clinical use. Recently, measurement of the mean platelet component (MPC) has become part of the routine data provided by an automated full blood count analyser, the Advia 120. MPC measures platelet density which changes on platelet activation. Our objectives were to determine if platelet activation, as measured by MPC, is increased in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) and to determine if MPC could be useful in differentiating people with stable CAD from controls on an everyday clinical basis. Three hundred and forty-five consecutive patients attending for elective coronary angiography had full blood count analysis and MPC measurement performed using an ADVIA-120 analyser. Three hundred and twenty-four were analysed in our final dataset. Two hundred and fifty-three (78%) had CAD. Patients with CAD were significantly (p<0.001) older than those without (63.8 versus 56.0 years). Results failed to demonstrate a difference (p=0.467) in MPC between patients with CAD and those with normal coronary arteries (25.8 versus 26.0). Likewise, there was no correlation between MPC and the severity of CAD (Kendall's tau b=-0.086, p=0.04). MPC is not a useful index of platelet activity in stable CAD when used in everyday clinical practice.