Management of the multiple phases of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.

Link to article at PubMed

Management of the multiple phases of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.

Thromb Haemost. 2016 Apr 14;116(1)

Authors: Cuker A

The clinical course of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) may be separated into five sequential phases: 1. suspected HIT, 2. acute HIT, 3. subacute HIT A, 4. subacute HIT B, and 5. remote HIT. Each phase confronts the clinician with a unique set of management questions. In this review, the phases of HIT are defined and key management questions associated with each phase are discussed. Among patients with Suspected HIT, I use the 4Ts score to determine which patients have a sufficiently high probability of HIT to justify discontinuation of heparin and initiation of a non-heparin parenteral anticoagulant. An algorithm for selecting an appropriate non-heparin anticoagulant based on the patient's clinical stability, renal and hepatic function, drug availability, and physician comfort is provided. In patients with Acute HIT, I generally avoid prophylactic platelet transfusion and inferior vena cava filter insertion because of a potential increased risk of thrombosis. I perform 4-limb screening compression ultrasonography. In patients with symptomatic thromboembolism or asymptomatic proximal deep-vein thrombosis, I treat with anticoagulation for three months. In patients without thrombosis, I discontinue anticoagulation upon platelet count recovery. I do not transition patients to an oral anticoagulant until platelet count recovery (i. e. Subacute HIT A). I increasingly choose direct oral anticoagulants over vitamin K antagonists in this setting because of their greater convenience and safety. In Subacute HIT B and Remote HIT, I use heparin for cardiovascular surgery, whereas I use bivalirudin in patients with Acute HIT and Subacute HIT A in whom surgery cannot be delayed.

PMID: 27075525 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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