Increased prevalence of antiheparin platelet factor 4 antibodies in patients may be due to contaminated heparin

Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. Mar-Apr 2009;15(2):145-51. doi: 10.1177/1076029609332802.

Abstract

During the period of November 2007 to January 2008, an increased prevalence of adverse reactions to heparin was noted. These adverse events have been attributed to the presence of purposeful contaminant, oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS) from April 2007 to May 2008. An analysis of dialysis patients' plasma obtained in 2006 and 2007 consistently had a low (5%) prevalence of AHPF4 antibodies. Blood samples from 78 patients on maintenance hemodialysis, who were potentially exposed to OSCS-contaminated heparin, were analyzed for the presence of all AHPF4 antibodies using a commercially available ELISA kit from GTI. Although there was no change in the platelet count of these patients, 15 of 78 patients (19.2%) studied had an increased prevalence of AHPF4 antibodies. Subtyping of the all platelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies documented showed a higher prevalence of immunoglobulin G antibodies as compared to their previously determined antibodies. These observations suggest that the OSCS contaminant in the recalled heparin triggers an immunogenic response not seen with OSCS-contaminated free heparin.

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / administration & dosage
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / poisoning*
  • Drug Contamination*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Heparin / administration & dosage
  • Heparin / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects
  • Platelet Count
  • Platelet Factor 4 / immunology*
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Thrombocytopenia / blood*
  • Thrombocytopenia / chemically induced
  • Thrombocytopenia / immunology

Substances

  • Autoantibodies
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Serotonin
  • Platelet Factor 4
  • Heparin
  • Chondroitin Sulfates