In this webinar, I will start by describing the pathophysiology and risk factors for heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). The two main types of laboratory testing in the investigation of HIT are immunoassays and functional assays. The utility, features and limitations of both types of tests will then be reviewed. This is followed by a discussion regarding an algorithmic approach to HIT diagnosis incorporating both clinical criteria and laboratory test results, as well as recent developments in diagnostics, including rapid immunoassays.
Learning Objectives – after participation of this activity, participants will be able to:
1. To understand the pathogenesis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia(HIT), and to be aware that the majority of HIT antibodies are non-pathogenic.
2. To appreciate the different characteristics and limitations of immunoassays and functional assays, and the roles they play in the investigation of HIT.
3. To appreciate that an algorithmic approach to diagnosing HIT can be adopted in laboratories, incorporating both clinical criteria(most commonly the 4T score) and results of laboratory assays.
4. To be aware of the emergence of rapid immunoassays and the application of Baynesian probability to further enhance the algorithmic approach to HIT diagnosis.