Prevalence of heparin-associated antibodies without thrombosis in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Patients with cardiovascular disease almost invariably receive heparin before cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, which places them at risk of developing heparin-associated antibodies with a risk of thromboembolic complications. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of heparin-induced antibodies in patients before and after cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. METHODS AND RESULTS: Plasma from 111 patients was tested before surgery and 5 days after surgery for heparin-dependent platelet-reactive antibodies with a 14C-serotonin-release assay (SRA) and for antibodies to heparin/platelet factor 4 complexes with an ELISA. Heparin exposure after surgery was minimized. Heparin-dependent antibodies were detected before surgery in 5% of patients with SRA and 19% of patients with ELISA. By the fifth postoperative day, there was a marked increase in patients positive on the SRA or ELISA (13% and 51%, respectively; P < .01 for each). Patients who had received heparin therapy earlier in their hospitalization were more likely to have a positive ELISA before surgery (35%; P = .017) and a positive ELISA (68%; P = .054) or SRA (30%; P = .002) after surgery. However, there was no difference in the prevalence of thrombocytopenia or thromboembolic events between the antibody-positive and-negative groups. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately one fifth of patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery have heparin-induced platelet antibodies detectable before the procedure as a result of prior heparin exposure, and many more develop antibodies after surgery. The absence of an association between these antibodies and thromboembolic complications in this study may be, in part, attributable to careful avoidance of heparin after surgery. The high prevalence of heparin-induced antibodies in this setting suggests that these patients may be at risk of developing thrombotic complications with additional heparin exposure.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bauer, TL; Arepally, G; Konkle, BA; Mestichelli, B; Shapiro, SS; Cines, DB; Poncz, M; McNulty, S; Amiral, J; Hauck, WW; Edie, RN; Mannion, JD

Published Date

  • March 4, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 95 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1242 - 1246

PubMed ID

  • 9054855

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9054855

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-7322

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/01.cir.95.5.1242


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States