OBJECTIVES: Type II heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is mediated by formation of antibodies to platelet factor 4 (PF4)-heparin complexes. We evaluated anti-PF4-heparin-negative samples for the presence of additional anti-platelet and anti-red blood cell (RBC) antibodies using whole-cell platelet/ RBC ELISAs we developed. METHODS: Seventy-three samples tested for anti-PF4-heparin by ELISA were included: 62 tested negative, 9 tested positive, and 2 had equivocal results. Plasma specimens from healthy donors were used as controls. RESULTS: 100% (9/9) anti-PF4-positive samples had anti-platelet antibodies detected by whole-cell platelet ELISA. 42.2% (27/64) anti-PF4-heparin-negative samples were negative for anti-platelet and anti-RBC antibodies. 32.8% (21/64) negative samples showed reactivity to both platelets and RBC; 12.5% (8/64) negative samples were each reactive with either platelet or RBC ELISA, respectively. Additionally, two samples that tested equivocal by anti-PF4-heparin ELISA had antibodies to both platelets and RBC by whole-cell ELISA. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that patients with thrombocytopenia testing negative for anti-PF4-heparin may still harbor antibodies to platelets. However, additional research is needed to determine the significance of these antibodies. Nevertheless, these findings may encourage clinicians to further investigate patients with possible immune-mediated etiologies of thrombocytopenia and anemia.
PF4-heparin, anti, antibodies, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, platelet, red cells, whole-cell ELISA
European Journal of Haematology
R01 AI034343; P0178
National Institutes of Health (NIH); Office of Diversity and Inclusion, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
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Bashover EM, Stefaniuk CM, Harding CV, Maitta RW. Use of a whole‐cell ELISA to detect additional antibodies in setting of suspected heparin‐induced thrombocytopenia. Eur J Haematol. 2019;103:99–106. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13263