Heparin is an effective drug for prevention and treatment of thromboembolic conditions. Although several biological assays have been proposed for monitoring unfractionated heparin therapy, the measurement of the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) is the most widely employed test, and the overall risk of thromboembolic episodes was markedly reduced by maintaining APTT ratios above 1.5. However, the adjustment of the heparin therapy on the basis of APTT presents several questions which are still unresolved. Major discrepancies were found in APTTs performed using different reagents in both ex vivo and in vitro heparinized samples and occasionally with different lots of the same reagents; poor correlation was oberved between APTT values and plasma heparin concentrations. In order to gain further insights into this phenomenon, we analysed the sensitivity to heparin of five commercial reagents for APTT measurement in 19 ex vivo heparinized samples. Differences were observed; correlation coefficients ranged from 0.820 to 0.985 and slopes of linear regressions from 0.26 to 1.14. Moreover, unsatisfactory correlations were obtained when APTT ratios were compared with heparin plasma concentrations in the same patients' samples. In the heparin therapeutic range of 0.35-0.70 U/ml, reagent-dependent differences were observed in the corresponding APTT values. These results point out a critical role of the assay methodology in monitoring heparin therapy by APTT. We suggest that reference materials and methods should be urgently identified, a universally agreed scale for reporting results should be established and reference ranges for the unfractionated heparin therapy should be reconsidered taking on account the reagent employed.

Evaluation of the APTT sensitivity to heparin of five commercial reagents: implications for therapeutic monitoring

LIPPI, Giuseppe
1998

Abstract

Heparin is an effective drug for prevention and treatment of thromboembolic conditions. Although several biological assays have been proposed for monitoring unfractionated heparin therapy, the measurement of the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) is the most widely employed test, and the overall risk of thromboembolic episodes was markedly reduced by maintaining APTT ratios above 1.5. However, the adjustment of the heparin therapy on the basis of APTT presents several questions which are still unresolved. Major discrepancies were found in APTTs performed using different reagents in both ex vivo and in vitro heparinized samples and occasionally with different lots of the same reagents; poor correlation was oberved between APTT values and plasma heparin concentrations. In order to gain further insights into this phenomenon, we analysed the sensitivity to heparin of five commercial reagents for APTT measurement in 19 ex vivo heparinized samples. Differences were observed; correlation coefficients ranged from 0.820 to 0.985 and slopes of linear regressions from 0.26 to 1.14. Moreover, unsatisfactory correlations were obtained when APTT ratios were compared with heparin plasma concentrations in the same patients' samples. In the heparin therapeutic range of 0.35-0.70 U/ml, reagent-dependent differences were observed in the corresponding APTT values. These results point out a critical role of the assay methodology in monitoring heparin therapy by APTT. We suggest that reference materials and methods should be urgently identified, a universally agreed scale for reporting results should be established and reference ranges for the unfractionated heparin therapy should be reconsidered taking on account the reagent employed.
Activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT); Coagulation; Heparin monitoring;
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/12224
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