Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a prothrombotic disorder caused by antibodies that recognize complexes of platelet factor 4 (PF4) and heparin. HIT is frequently considered in the differential diagnosis of thrombocytopenia occurring in patients on heparin therapy. HIT is a challenging diagnosis because of routine heparin use in hospitalized patients, the common occurrence of thrombocytopenia, and high rates of anti-PF4/heparin seroconversions in patients treated with heparin. Our diagnostic approach to HIT is presented here, underscoring critical elements of clinical and laboratory evaluation.
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