Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an uncommon but serious complication of exposure to heparin. Antibody optical densities (ODs) used to diagnose HIT exceeding 2 are highly suggestive of disease, whereas ODs less than 0.5 often ‘rule out’ HIT. Variation in the clinical care of patients with inconclusive ODs between 0.5 and 2 is likely. This single-centre, retrospective analysis evaluates the diagnosis, management and outcomes of those with antibody ODs between 0.5 and 2.
We queried our institution's Healthcare Enterprise Repository for Ontological Narration (HERON) database to identify individuals with antibody ODs between 0.5 and 2. Chart review was completed to calculate 4T scores, corroborate diagnosis codes with documented information in our electronic health record (EHR) and evaluate the diagnosis, management and outcomes of these individuals. These data were evaluated using descriptive and univariate statistics.
Among individuals evaluated for HIT between November 2007 and July 2020, we identified 302 individuals with ODs between 0.5 and 2. Serotonin release assays (SRAs) were assessed in 55% (165/302) and were positive in 12% (20/165). In those with available data, 96% with low 4T scores had negative SRAs and 4% had positive SRAs. As 4T scores and antibody ODs proportionally increased, SRA positivity also increased. Clinical management varied widely; however, 4T scoring remains a valuable assessment in this cohort.
In those with HIT antibody ODs between 0.5 and 2, true positives were uncommon, and their clinical management varied widely. Fortunately, 4T scoring is a useful prognostic tool that improves the diagnosis and management among those with inconclusive HIT.