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Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Management

Patriarcheas, Vasileios ; Pikoulas, Antonios ; Kostis, Minas ; Charpidou, Andriani ; Dimakakos, Evangelos

Curēus (Palo Alto, CA), 2020-03-24, Vol.12 (3), p.e7385-e7385 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Management
  • Author: Patriarcheas, Vasileios ; Pikoulas, Antonios ; Kostis, Minas ; Charpidou, Andriani ; Dimakakos, Evangelos
  • Subjects: Anticoagulants ; Immunoglobulins ; Heart attacks ; Blood platelets ; Laboratories ; Pathogenesis ; Embolisms ; Thrombosis
  • Is Part Of: Curēus (Palo Alto, CA), 2020-03-24, Vol.12 (3), p.e7385-e7385
  • Description: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), even rare, is a life-threatening, immune-mediated complication of heparin exposure. It is considered the most severe non-bleeding adverse reaction of heparin treatment and one of the most important adverse drug reactions. The pathophysiological basis of HIT results from the formation of an immunocomplex consisting of an auto-antibody against platelet factor 4 (PF4) - heparin complex, which binds to the surface of platelets and monocytes, provoking their activation by cross-linking FcgIIA receptors. Platelets and monocyte activation, leads to the generation of catastrophic arterial and venous thrombosis, with a mortality rate of 20%, without early recognition. The definitive diagnosis of HIT i.e., clinical and laboratory evidence, can not be done at the onset of symptoms because laboratory results may not be available for several days. Thus, the initial approach is to predict the likelihood of HIT, because in highly suspected patients immediate heparin cessation and initiation of alternative anticoagulation treatment are crucial for the prevention of the devastating thrombotic sequelae. Herein, we describe the pathophysiology, the clinical manifestations, the diagnostic approach, and the management of patients with HIT.
  • Publisher: United States: Cureus Inc
  • Language: English
  • Identifier: ISSN: 2168-8184
    EISSN: 2168-8184
    DOI: 10.7759/cureus.7385
    PMID: 32337112
  • Source: © ProQuest LLC All rights reserved

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