Jo-Ann I Sheppard

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (26)159.69 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Repeated therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) has been advocated to remove heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) IgG antibodies prior to cardiac/vascular surgery in patients who have serologically-confirmed acute or subacute HIT; for this situation, a negative platelet activation assay (e.g., platelet serotonin-release assay [SRA]) has been recommended as the target serological endpoint to permit safe surgery. We compared reactivities in the SRA and an anti-PF4/heparin IgG-specific enzyme-immunoassay (EIA), testing serial serum samples in a patient with recent (subacute) HIT who underwent serial TPE pre-cardiac surgery, as well as for 15 other serially-diluted HIT sera. We observed that post-TPE/diluted HIT sera-when first testing SRA-negative-continue to test strongly positive by EIA-IgG. This dissociation between the platelet activation assay and a PF4-dependent immunoassay for HIT antibodies indicates that patients with subacute HIT undergoing repeated TPE prior to heparin re-exposure should be tested by serial platelet activation assays even when their EIAs remain strongly positive. Copyright © 2014 American Society of Hematology.
    Blood 11/2014; · 9.78 Impact Factor
  • Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Thrombocytopenia occurs in 20% to 45% of critically ill medical-surgical patients. The 4Ts heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) score (with 4 domains: Thrombocytopenia, Timing of thrombocytopenia, Thrombosis and oTher reason[s] for thrombocytopenia) might reliably identify patients at low risk for HIT. Interobserver agreement on 4Ts scoring is uncertain in this setting. To evaluate whether a published clinical prediction rule (the "4Ts score") reliably rules out HIT in "low-risk" intensive care unit (ICU) patients as assessed by research coordinators (who prospectively scored) and 2 adjudicators (who scored retrospectively) during an international heparin thromboprophylaxis trial (PROTECT, NCT00182143). Of 3746 medical-surgical ICU patients in PROTECT, 794 met the enrollment criteria for this HIT substudy. Enrollment was predicated on one of the following occurring in ICU: platelets less than 50 × 10(9)/L, platelets decreased to 50% of ICU admission value (if admission value <100 × 10(9)/L), any venous thrombosis, or if HIT was otherwise clinically suspected. Independently, 4Ts scores were completed in real time by research coordinators blinded to study drug and laboratory HIT results, and retrospectively by 2 adjudicators blinded to study drug, laboratory HIT results, and research coordinators' scores; the adjudicators arrived at consensus in all cases. Of the 763 patients, 474 had a central or local laboratory HIT test performed and had 4Ts scoring by adjudicators; 432 were scored by trained research coordinators. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia was defined by a centrally performed positive serotonin release assay (SRA). Of the 474 patients with central adjudication, 407 (85.9%) had a 4Ts score of 3 or lower, conferring a low pretest probability (PTP) of HIT; of these, 6 (1.5% [95% confidence interval, 0.7%-3.2%) had a positive SRA. Fifty-nine (12.4%) had a moderate PTP (4Ts score of 4-5); of these, 4 (6.8%) had a positive SRA. Eight patients had a high PTP (4Ts score of ≥6); of these, 1 (12.5%) had a positive SRA. Raw agreement between research coordinators and central adjudication on each domain of the 4Ts score and low, intermediate, and high PTP was good. However, chance-corrected agreement was variable between adjudicators (weighted κ values of 0.31-0.93) and between the adjudicator consensus and research coordinators (weighted κ values of 0.13 and 0.78). Post hoc review of the 6 SRA-positive cases with an adjudicated low PTP demonstrated that their scores would have been increased if the adjudicators had had additional information on heparin exposure prior to ICU admission. In general, the fourth domain of 4Ts (oTher causes of thrombocytopenia) generated the most disagreement. Real-time 4Ts scoring by research coordinators at the time of testing for HIT was not consistent with 4Ts scores obtained by central adjudicators. The results of this comprehensive HIT testing highlight the need for further research to improve the assessment of PTP scoring of HIT for critically ill patients.
    Journal of critical care 02/2014; · 2.13 Impact Factor
  • Theodore E Warkentin, Jo-Ann I Sheppard
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    ABSTRACT: Heparin re-exposure despite a history of previous heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) can be appropriate if platelet-activating antibodies are no longer detectable. We determined the frequency, timing, and magnitude of the anti-PF4/heparin immune response (by serotonin-release assay [SRA] and enzyme-immunoassay [EIA]), and the frequency of recurrent HIT, in 20 patients with previous HIT re-exposed to heparin 4.4 years (mean) post-HIT; 17 patients were given heparin intraoperatively (without postoperative heparin) for cardiac/vascular surgery. One patient developed recurrent HIT beginning 7 days post-cardiac surgery, with newly-regenerated HIT antibodies exhibiting strong heparin-independent platelet-activating properties. Intraoperative heparin induced EIA seroconversion in 11/17 (65%) patients (IgG>IgA>IgM) and SRA seroconversion in 8/17 (47%), whereas none of 3 medical patients re-exposed to heparin developed seroconversion. Anti-PF4/heparin IgG became detectable at day 7 (median), i.e., no sooner than observed in typical-onset HIT. The high proportion of SRA-positivity among EIA-seroconverting patients (8/11 [73%]) suggests that patients with previous HIT may be especially predisposed to forming recurrent antibodies with platelet-activating properties. We conclude that among patients with a previous history of HIT who are re-exposed to intraoperative (but not postoperative) heparin the risk of recurrent HIT appears to be low, but is possible if antibodies with strong heparin-independent platelet-activating properties are formed.
    Blood 02/2014; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: In a recent multicenter randomized trial comparing unfractionated heparin (UFH) with low-molecular-weight heparin (dalteparin) for thromboprophylaxis in 3746 critically-ill patients, 17 (0.5%) patients developed heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) based on serotonin-release assay-positive (SRA+) status. A trend to lower frequency of HIT with dalteparin vs UFH was observed in the intention-to-treat analysis (5 vs 12 patients; P=0.14), which was statistically significant (3 vs 12 patients; P=0.046) in a prespecified per-protocol analysis which excluded patients with deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) at study entry. We sought to characterize HIT outcomes and to determine how dalteparin thromboprophylaxis might reduce HIT frequency in ICU patients. METHODS: In 17 patients with HIT, we analyzed platelet counts and thrombotic events in relation to study drug and other open-label heparin, to determine whether study drug plausibly explained seroconversion to SRA+ status and/or breakthrough of thrombocytopenia/thrombosis. We also compared antibody frequencies (dalteparin vs UFH) in 409 patients serologically investigated for HIT. RESULTS: HIT-associated thrombosis occurred in 10/17 (58.8%) patients (8:1:1 venous:arterial:both). Dalteparin was associated with fewer study drug-attributable HIT-related events (P=0.020), including less seroconversion (P=0.058) and less breakthrough of thrombocytopenia/thrombosis (P=0.032). Anti-PF4/heparin IgG antibodies by ELISA were less frequent among patients receiving dalteparin vs UFH (13.5% vs 27.3%; P<0.001). One patient with HIT-associated DVT died post-UFH bolus, whereas platelet counts recovered in two others with HIT-associated VTE despite continuation of therapeutic-dose UFH. CONCLUSIONS: The lower risk of HIT in ICU patients receiving dalteparin appears related to both decreased antibody formation and decreased clinical breakthrough of HIT among patients forming antibodies.
    Chest 05/2013; · 7.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Anti-PF4/heparin antibodies are frequently generated following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, with platelet-activating IgG implicated in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. It is controversial whether non-platelet-activating antibodies are associated with thrombosis. OBJECTIVES: To determine in post-CABG patients whether thromboprophylaxis using fondaparinux vs unfractionated heparin (UFH) reduces frequency of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies, and whether anti-PF4/heparin antibodies are associated with early graft occlusion. METHODS/PATIENTS: In a pre-planned secondary analysis of an RCT comparing fondaparinux vs UFH thromboprophylaxis post-CABG, we determined the frequency of anti-PF4/heparin antibody formation by solid-phase enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) and of platelet-activating antibodies by serotonin-release assay (SRA); the SRA and fluid-phase EIA were used to assess fondaparinux cross-reactivity. We also examined whether anti-PF4/heparin antibodies were associated with early arterial or venous graft occlusion (6-week CT angiography). RESULTS: We found no significant difference in frequency of antibody formation between patients who received fondaparinux vs UFH (65.3% vs 46.0%; P = 0.069), and no significant fondaparinux cross-reactivity. Venous graft occlusion(s) occurred in 6/26 patients who formed 'strong' IgG antibodies (≥1.0 OD units and ≥2× baseline) vs 3/66 who did not (P=0.0139). In both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, strong postoperative (but not preoperative) anti-PF4/heparin IgG responses were associated with markedly increased risk of early venous (but not arterial) graft occlusion (adjusted OR, 9.25 [95% CI, 1.73, 49.43]; P=0.0093); notably, none of 3 SRA-positive patients developed venous graft occlusion. CONCLUSIONS: Fondaparinux vs UFH thromboprophylaxis post-CABG does not reduce anti-PF4/heparin antibody formation. Non-platelet-activating anti-PF4/heparin IgG antibodies generated postoperatively are associated with early venous graft occlusion. © 2012 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 12/2012; · 6.08 Impact Factor
  • Thrombosis and Haemostasis 05/2012; 108(2):394-6. · 5.76 Impact Factor
  • Critical Care 03/2012; 16(1). · 4.93 Impact Factor
  • Thrombosis and Haemostasis 02/2012; 107(5):998-1000. · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fondaparinux is theoretically an attractive agent for the treatment of immune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a prothrombotic disorder caused by platelet-activating anti-platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies. Although reports of the use of fondaparinux for this indication have thus far been favorable, the diagnosis of HIT in most cases was not based on definitive laboratory confirmation of heparin-dependent, platelet-activating antibodies. To report thrombotic and major bleeding outcomes with fondaparinux in patients with a high likelihood of having acute HIT based on clinical features and a positive result in the confirmatory platelet serotonin-release assay (SRA), a sensitive and specific test for platelet-activating HIT antibodies. We reviewed consecutive eligible patients with SRA-positive HIT (mean peak serotonin release, 91% [normal, < 20%]; mean IgG-specific PF4/heparin enzyme immunoassay result, 2.53 optical density units [normal, < 0.45 units]) in one medical center over a 30-month period who received fondaparinux for anticoagulation during acute HIT (platelet count, < 150 × 10(9) L(-1)). Where available, plasma samples were used to measure thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complex levels. Results: Sixteen patients with SRA-positive HIT received fondaparinux: 14 surgical (11 after cardiac surgery; three after vascular surgery) and two medical (acute stroke). Fifty-six per cent of patients had HIT-associated thrombosis at the time of diagnosis. No patient developed new, recurrent or progressive thrombosis; one patient developed a major bleed (calf hematoma). One patient judged to have irreversible tissue necrosis before receiving fondaparinux therapy ultimately required limb amputation. TAT complex levels were reduced within 24 h of starting fondaparinux, and 13 of 13 patients were successfully switched to warfarin. Fondaparinux shows promise for the treatment of patients with SRA-positive acute HIT.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 08/2011; 9(12):2389-96. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute ischaemic stroke patients sometimes receive heparin for treatment and/or prophylaxis of thromboembolic complications. This study was designed to elucidate the incidence and clinical features of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) in acute stroke patients treated with heparin. We conducted a prospective multicentre cohort study of 267 patients who were admitted to three stroke centres within 7 d after stroke onset. We examined clinical data until discharge and collected blood samples on days 1 and 14 of hospitalization to test anti-platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies (anti-PF4/H Abs) using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); platelet-activating antibodies were identified by serotonin-release assay (SRA). Patients with a 4Ts score ≥4 points, positive-ELISA, and positive-SRA were diagnosed as definite HIT. Heparin was administered to 172 patients (64·4%: heparin group). Anti-PF4/H Abs were detected by ELISA in 22 cases (12·8%) in the heparin group. Seven patients had 4Ts ≥ 4 points. Among them, three patients (1·7% overall) were also positive by both ELISA and SRA. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score on admission was high (range, 16-23) and in-hospital mortality was very high (66·7%) in definite HIT patients. In this study, the incidence of definite HIT in acute ischaemic stroke patients treated with heparin was 1·7% (95% confidence interval: 0·4-5·0). The clinical severity and outcome of definite HIT were unfavourable.
    British Journal of Haematology 06/2011; 154(3):378-86. · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Laboratory confirmation of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is based on detection of heparin-dependent platelet-activating antibodies. Platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin enzyme-immunoassays (EIA) are a widely available surrogate for platelet-activating antibodies. Defining the optical density (OD) reactivity profiles of a PF4/heparin EIA in reference subject and patient populations and the correlation of the EIA results (expressed in OD units) with the prevalence of platelet-activating antibodies. Using quantile regression we determined the 97.5th percentile of PF4/heparin-immunoglobulin G (IgG) EIA reactivities in non-heparin-treated individuals [blood donors (n = 935)] and patients before heparin therapy (n = 1207). In patients with suspected HIT, we compared the correlation of EIA-IgG reactivities (Greifswald laboratory; n = 2821) and the heparin-induced platelet activation assay (HIPA) with the correlation of reactivities of another EIA-IgG (McMaster laboratory; n = 1956) with the serotonin-release assay (SRA). PF4/heparin-IgG EIA OD reactivities had a lower OD 97.5th percentile in blood donors compared with patient groups before heparin treatment (P < 0.001). The percentage of sera testing positive in the functional assays strongly correlated with PF4/heparin-IgG EIA OD reactivities in both laboratories with very similar results (correlation coefficient > 0.9) when normalized OD ranges (maximum OD divided by 10) were used instead of absolute OD values. Results of PF4/heparin-IgG EIA should not be reported as only positive or negative as there is no single acceptable cut-off value. Instead, reporting PF4/heparin-IgG EIA OD results in ranges allows for risk-stratified prediction for presence of platelet-activating antibodies. Use of normalized OD ranges permits a standardized approach for inter-laboratory comparisons.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 09/2010; 8(9):2025-31. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 10/2009; 8(1):216-8. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), which is caused by platelet (PLT)-activating immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibodies against platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin complexes, differs from other immune responses seen in immunohematology: IgG antibodies are formed as early as 5 days even without previous heparin exposure; antibodies are remarkably transient (<100 days); HIT is more frequent in postsurgery patients compared with medical patients despite administering the same type and dose of heparin; and increasing evidence implicates autoantibody-like reactivity of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies. We hypothesized that these unusual features could be caused by loss of regulatory anti-idiotype IgM antibodies due to disturbance (e.g., by surgery) of an idiotype-anti-idiotype network. Sera were obtained prospectively before heparin administration and during the immunization phase of HIT and also from patients with previous HIT after waning of antibodies to nondetectable levels. To detect inhibitory IgM anti-idiotype antibodies, we performed serum coincubation experiments and IgG purification by protein G and size filtration to exclude coprecipitating IgM. Sera (n = 3) containing known anti-PF4/heparin IgG or IgM antibodies and normal sera (n = 20) were processed as controls. Fifteen preimmune response sera (seroconverting in the PF4/heparin-IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay only [n = 4] or additionally in a PLT activation assay [n = 5] or in both assays plus thrombosis [n = 6]) and four sera of previously immunized patients were included. Neither did the neat sera inhibit binding of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies nor did the purified IgG fractions show enhanced binding to PF4/heparin complexes. The atypical immunologic features of HIT do not appear to be caused by disruption of an idiotype (IgG)-anti-idiotype (IgM) network.
    Transfusion 06/2009; 49(9):1812-8. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is caused by platelet-activating antibodies that recognize PF4/heparin complexes. Uncertainties remain regarding HIT immunobiology, including the temporal relation of antibody formation to onset of thrombocytopenia, and whether immunoglobulin class switching occurs. Using serial plasma samples from 2 heparin thromboprophylaxis trials, we determined the time of onset, antibody levels, and immunoglobulin class distributions (IgG, IgA, IgM) for 12 patients with HIT and 36 patients who formed anti-PF4/heparin antibodies, but did not develop HIT ("seropositive non-HIT controls"). In patients with HIT, anti-PF4/heparin antibodies became detectable 4 days (median) after starting heparin; antibody detection preceded the platelet count decline by 2 days (median). Patients with HIT produced higher levels of IgG antibodies, but similar IgA and IgM levels, compared with seropositive non-HIT controls. Among all 48 seroconverting patients, the first day of a positive antibody test (median, day 6) did not differ among the immunoglobulin classes. Thus, the HIT immune response does not exhibit the classic paradigm of IgM class precedence/immunoglobulin class switching; rather, relatively rapid formation of IgG antibodies is observed, sometimes with concomitant IgA and IgM formation. Compared with seropositive non-HIT controls, HIT patients develop significantly higher anti-PF4/heparin IgG levels that are detectable before the onset of thrombocytopenia.
    Blood 02/2009; 113(20):4963-9. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The immune response in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is puzzling: heparin-naive patients can develop IgG antibodies and clinical HIT as early as day 5, and evidence for an anamnestic response on heparin reexposure is lacking. We assessed daily serum samples by anti-PF4/heparin enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) in patients receiving heparin thromboprophylaxis. Of 435 patients, 56.1% showed an increase in EIA optical density (OD) of more than or equal to 15%, with more than 90% starting between days 4 and 14. After reaching maximum reactivity by days 10 to 12, ODs declined despite heparin continuation, including in 2 patients with clinical HIT. Individual IgG/A/M classes showed identical time of onset (median, day 6). Most (58.7%) antibody-positive patients developed all 3 Ig classes; only 11.3% lacked IgG response. IgG/A/M increase usually occurred simultaneously (+/- 1 day) with no general tendency for IgM precedence. Consistent with the transient immune response, none of the IgG-EIA-positive (OD > 0.5) patients at discharge developed clinically evident thrombosis during extended low-molecular-weight heparin thromboprophylaxis. The rapid onset of the anti-PF4/heparin immune response, its transience, and the simultaneous appearance of antibodies of different classes with no IgM precedence suggest short-term activation of B cells that have previously undergone Ig-class switching even without previous pharmacologic heparin exposure.
    Blood 12/2008; 113(20):4970-6. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a disorder in which anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4)-heparin antibodies cause platelet activation and hypercoagulability, requires alternative (non-heparin) anticoagulation. Treatment options include direct thrombin inhibitors [lepirudin and argatroban (approved), and bivalirudin], danaparoid (approved) (mixture of anticoagulant glycosaminoglycans), or fondaparinux (synthetic heparin-mimicking pentasaccharide). PF4-heparin complexes form at optimal stoichiometric ratios. To compare the effects of these various non-heparin anticoagulants in disrupting the formation of PF4-heparin complexes, and PF4-containing immune complexes. Sera were obtained from patients with serologically confirmed HIT. The effects of the alternative anticoagulants on PF4 and PF4-heparin complex interactions with platelets, as well as HIT antibody binding and platelet activation, were investigated. Danaparoid at very low concentrations increased PF4 binding to platelets. In therapeutic concentrations, however, it decreased PF4 binding to platelets (P = 0.0004), displaced PF4-heparin complexes from platelets (P = 0.0033) and PF4 from the surface of a PF4-transfected HEK-293 EBNA cell line expressing the PF4 receptor CXCR3-B (P = 0.0408), reduced PF4-heparin complex size (P = 0.025), inhibited HIT antibody binding to PF4-heparin complexes (P = 0.001), and prevented platelet activation by HIT antibodies (P = 0.046). Although fondaparinux also interfered with PF4 binding to platelets, HIT antibody binding to PF4-heparin complexes, and activation of platelets by HIT antibodies, these effects occurred only at supratherapeutic concentrations. The direct thrombin inhibitors had no effect at any concentrations. Danaparoid uniquely interferes with the pathogenesis of HIT by disrupting PF4-containing immune complexes at therapeutic dose concentrations. It is possible that these effects contribute to its therapeutic efficacy.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 11/2008; 6(12):2160-7. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many laboratories test for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) using a PF4-dependent enzyme-immunoassay (EIA). An advantage of the EIA is its simplicity; a disadvantage is that it only indirectly detects heparin-dependent, platelet-activating antibodies ('HIT antibodies'). To determine whether the magnitude of a positive EIA result, expressed in optical density (OD) units, predicts risk of HIT antibodies, defined as a strong-positive platelet serotonin-release assay (SRA) result (>or=50% serotonin release). We determined the risk of a strong-positive SRA result for five categories of OD reactivity (<0.40, 0.40-<1.00, 1.00-<1.40, 1.40-<2.00, and >or=2.00 OD units) using two EIAs (commercial anti-PF4/polyanion IgG/A/M and in-house anti-PF4/heparin-IgG). For patient sera investigated for HIT antibodies, a weak-positive result (0.40-<1.00 OD units) in either EIA indicated a low probability (<or=5%) of a strong-positive SRA; the risk increased to approximately 90% with an OD >or= 2.00 units. Quantifying the EIA-SRA relationship for 1553 referred patient sera, we found that for every increase of 0.50 OD units in the EIA-IgG, the risk of a strong-positive SRA result increased by OR = 6.39 [95% confidence interval (CI), 5.13, 7.95; P < 0.0001]. For every increase of 1.00 OD units in the EIA-IgG, the risk increased by OR = 40.81 (95% CI, 26.35, 63.20; P < 0.0001). The probability of HIT antibodies (strong-positive SRA result) inferred by a positive PF4-dependent EIA varies considerably in relation to the magnitude of the EIA result, expressed as OD values. In our laboratory, the probability of HIT antibodies being present reached >or=50% only when the OD level was >or=1.40 units.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 05/2008; 6(8):1304-12. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 12/2007; 5(11):2308-10. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    T E Warkentin, J I Sheppard
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 04/2007; 5(3):636-7. · 6.08 Impact Factor