A Prospective Study of the Prevalence of Heparin-Induced Antibodies and Other Associated Thromboembolic Risk Factors in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis


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Abstract

Heparin, which is used at high doses in hemodialysis patients, may induce antibodies favoring thromboembolic complications. We prospectively investigated the prevalence of heparininduced platelet-reactive antibodies in a cohort of 38 pediatric hemodialysis patients, by means of heparin/platelet factor 4 (H/PF4) ELISA and heparin-induced platelet activation assay (HIPA). We also assessed other acquired and congenital hypercoagulable states. Heparin-induced antibodies were detected in 13 and 21% of patients with HIPA and ELISA, respectively. Anti-H/PF4 antibodies were negatively correlated with the number of hemodialysis sessions. These antibodies disappeared after a median time of 6 months despite continuing heparin treatment. The prevalence of antiphospholipid antibodies was 21% (anticardiolipin 10.5%, anti-β2GPI 13%, and lupus anticoagulant 5%). Blood levels of homocysteine, factor VIII, and fibrinogen were significantly higher and factor II levels were significantly lower in hemodialysis patients than in controls, whereas factor VII, factor IX, and natural coagulation inhibitor levels were similar in patients and controls. Overall, 26 of 38 patients had at least one biomarker of hypercoagulability, but only 1 patient, without anti-H/PF4 antibodies, presented with thrombosis. In conclusion, heparin induces the transient production of anti-H/PF4 antibodies in children undergoing hemodialysis, but other abnormalities probably contribute to hypercoagulability. These findings may help to improve the diagnosis and management of thrombotic events in hemodialysis patients. Am. J. Hematol. 81:328-334, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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