Misclassification of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is common, which might undermine the value of platelet autoantibody testing. We determined the sensitivity and specificity of platelet autoantibody testing using the direct antigen capture assay for anti-glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa or anti-GPIbIX in patients with 'definite ITP', defined as those with a documented treatment response. Sensitivity of platelet autoantiboody testing increased from 48·3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 43·5-53·2] for all ITP patients to 64·7% (95% CI 54·6-73·9) for definite ITP patients. Specificity was unchanged [75·3% (95% CI 67·5-82·1)]. High optical density values (>0·8) improved the specificity of platelet autoantibody testing but lowered sensitivity. In patients with a high pretest probability, platelet autoantibodies can aid in the diagnosis of ITP and may be most prevalent in certain patient subsets.
Keywords: antibodies; platelets; purpura; registry; thrombocytopenia.
© 2021 British Society for Haematology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.