A substantial proportion of patients who undergo cardiac catheterization develop antibodies directed against the heparin/platelet factor 4 (PF4) complex after the procedure, which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. This study attempted to identify factors that predicted the development of these antibodies in a prospective cohort study. Antiheparin/PF4 antibody titers were measured at baseline and again 5 ± 2 days after cardiac catheterization by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A total of 311 patients who underwent cardiac catheterization were included in the analysis. Of these, 25 (8.0%) developed positive antibody levels after catheterization. Patients who had positive antibody test results after catheterization had significantly greater baseline antiheparin/PF4 antibody titers compared with those whose titers remained low (optical density 0.227 vs 0.158, p <0.001). In a logistic regression model, greater baseline antibody titers, a history of heparin exposure, and a lower platelet count at enrollment were the strongest predictors of conversion to positive antiheparin/PF4 antibody titers after cardiac catheterization. It is possible to identify patients at high risk for developing elevated titers of antiheparin/PF4 antibodies on the basis of their baseline clinical characteristics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine