J Clin Apher. 2021 Jan 16. doi: 10.1002/jca.21876. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is characterized by anti-heparin/platelet factor 4 immune complexes, which are removed by therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE). Our main objective was to study TPE outcomes in HIT using a large administrative claims database.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We used the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) to identify hospital discharges of adult patients (≥18) with a primary or secondary diagnosis of HIT. Cases were classified into two groups based on TPE use. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes were thrombotic events, major bleeding, hospital length of stay (LOS), and charges. Multivariable regression analysis, controlling for age and medical comorbidities, was used to examine the association of TPE with study outcomes.
RESULTS: A HIT diagnosis was made in 22 165 discharges, of which 90 (0.4%) received TPE. Corresponding national estimates are 106 435 and 439, respectively. TPE was not associated with decreased in-hospital mortality (OR = 1.72; 95%CI: 0.93-3.17, P = .085). However, TPE was associated with a higher likelihood of major bleeding (OR = 2.35; 95%CI: 1.40-3.68, P = .0009), primarily driven by gastrointestinal bleeding (OR = 2.21; 95%CI: 1.17-4.17, P = .015). TPE was also associated with higher hospital LOS (20.5 vs 10 day, P < .0001) and charges (USD 211181 vs USD 81654, P < .0001).
CONCLUSION: TPE's association with increased bleeding and a prolonged hospital course indicates that it is being used in HIT cases with a severe clinical phenotype. Future studies are needed to better characterize the HIT phenotype that will most benefit from TPE.