Background: The exclusion of heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is required for selecting the most appropriate anticoagulation therapy in affected patients. It requires the combination of clinical data with the detection of antibodies directed against platelet factor 4 (PF4) in complex with polyanions (PA) such as heparin.
Methods: We developed a lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) for PF4/PA complex specific IgG antibodies based on gold nanoparticles. Unlike most other assays, the initial immune reaction takes place in the liquid phase. The sensitivity of the assay has been adjusted with clinical samples aiming in the reliable detection of sera which are positive in a functional platelet activation assay.
Results: Sera from 60 patients with suspected HIT were investigated. LFIA identified correctly all samples (n=20) which were positive in a functional assay (HIPA) and an IgG specific ELISA. It correlated with ELISA, but false positive results were less frequent (7 samples were negative with LFIA and HIPA but positive with ELISA).
Conclusions: The LFIA may be a suitable tool for the rapid exclusion of HIT within 10 min.
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