Performance characteristics of 5 numerical indexes in mixing test interpretation under coexistence of lupus anticoagulant and coagulation factor deficiency

Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2023 Feb 2;7(2):100065. doi: 10.1016/j.rpth.2023.100065. eCollection 2023 Feb.


Background: The mixing test is useful to investigate the cause of unexpectedly prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). Several indexes are available for distinguishing correction from non-correction (ie, factor deficiency from inhibitors), but their performance characteristics may differ because of their different formulas. Furthermore, it is unclear how each index performs under the coexistence of factor deficiency and inhibitors.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine the differences in indexes, depending on factor VIII activity (FVIII:C) levels and lupus anticoagulant (LA) titers in test samples.

Methods: APTT was measured in spiked samples with various FVIII:C levels and LA titers, normal pooled plasma (NPP), and their 4:1, 1:1, and 1:4 mixtures. The following 5 indexes were calculated: index of circulating anticoagulant, mixing test normalized ratio, 4:1 and 1:1 percent corrections, and an APTT difference between the 1:1 mixture and NPP. The samples with LA, showing correction, were measured for FVIII:C in a one-stage assay to check parallelism.

Results: All indexes showed correction under FVIII deficiency and non-correction under higher LA titers. However, under lower LA titers, some indexes showed non-correction but others showed correction because of dilution effects and variations in formulas and/or sample mix ratios. The differences among the indexes were more pronounced under coexistent FVIII deficiency and LA, even though LA titers were equal in the tested samples; samples with lower FVIII:C showed correction, whereas those with normal FVIII:C showed non-correction. The samples tested for FVIII:C showed non-parallelism.

Conclusion: Each index had different performance characteristics to LA samples, which were pronounced under low FVIII:C levels in test samples.

Keywords: activated partial thromboplastin time; antiphospholipid antibodies; circulating anticoagulants; factor VIII; lupus anticoagulant.