Urgent cardiac surgery in a patient with a remote history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia: Use of the anti-PF4/heparin ELISA confirmatory test

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The use of established heparin protocols when heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) antibodies are negative is currently recommended for the management of patients with previous HIT who require cardiac surgery. Routine preoperative testing for HIT antibodies using an anti-PF4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) introduces the problem of detecting nonpathogenic HIT antibodies, which can lead to a false diagnosis of the presence of platelet-activating antibodies. Our case report demonstrates the clinical utility of a newer confirmatory procedure performed using high dose heparin. We use this procedure in situations in which pretest probability is low (remote HIT) and the anti-PF4/heparin ELISA test results are weak to moderately positive (absorbance 0.4-1.0).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-381
Number of pages3
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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