Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

James L. Zehnder, M.D.

Publication Details

  • Heparin-induced platelet aggregation vs platelet factor 4 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia-thrombosis AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PATHOLOGY Look, K. A., Sahud, M., Flaherty, S., Zehnder, J. L. 1997; 108 (1): 78-82


    Thrombosis occurs in an unpredictable subset of patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). The diagnosis of HIT requires clinical suspicion and laboratory confirmation. Although the "gold-standard" diagnostic test is considered to be the serotonin release assay (SRA), most laboratories use heparin-induced platelet aggregation (HIPA), which is highly specific but reported to be less sensitive than the SRA. Recently, the heparin-platelet factor 4 (PF4) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been reported to have comparable sensitivity to the SRA. We compared the HIPA and PF4 ELISA in serum samples from 146 patients examined for HIT and assessed whether either test predicted thrombotic risk. Results for 81 patients were positive for HIPA, PF4 ELISA, or both. Of these, 91% were HIPA-positive, while only 60% were PF4 ELISA-positive. Clinical information was available on 63 patients, 17 of whom had thrombotic events (10 venous, 6 arterial, and 1 both). Neither the HIPA nor the PF4 ELISA predicted thrombotic risk, but the HIPA proved to be a more sensitive test for laboratory confirmation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XG01600013

    View details for PubMedID 9208982

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