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Korean J Lab Med. 2011 Jan;31(1):1-8. English. Original Article.
Kim SY , Kim HK , Han KS , Kim I , Yoon SS , Park S , Kim BK .
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an adverse drug reaction caused by antibodies to the heparin/platelet factor 4 (PF4) complex, resulting in thrombocytopenia and prothrombotic state. HIT diagnosis is challenging and depends on clinical presentation and laboratory tests. We investigated the usefulness of clinical scores and heparin/PF4 ELISA optical density (OD) as a diagnostic marker and thrombosis predictor in HIT. METHODS: We analyzed 92 patients with suspected HIT. The heparin/PF4 antibody was measured using a commercial ELISA kit (GTI, USA). For each patient, the 4 T's score and Chong's score were calculated. RESULTS: Of the 92 patients, 28 were anti-heparin/PF4-seropositive. The 4 T's score and Chong's score showed good correlation (r=0.874). The 4 T's score and OD values showed good performance for diagnosis of the definite and unlikely HIT groups; however, OD levels showed better sensitivity (93.8%) than the 4 T's score used alone (62.5%). Of the 92 patients, 26 developed thrombosis. The OD values were significantly higher in patients with thrombosis than in those without thrombosis (0.52 vs. 0.22, P<0.001). Patients with high OD values (OD>0.4) had an increased risk of thrombosis (adjusted odds ratio 9.44 [3.35-26.6], P<0.001) and a shorter 250-day thrombosis-free survival (32.1% vs. 54.7%, P=0.012). CONCLUSIONS: ELISA OD values in combination with clinical scoring can improve the diagnosis of and thrombosis prediction in HIT. More attention should be paid to the use of clinical scores and OD values as thrombosis predictors in HIT.

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