A Novel Prothrombin Time Assay for Assessing the Anticoagulant Activity of Oral Factor Xa Inhibitors

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Abstract

Conventional prothrombin time (PT) assays have limited sensitivity and dynamic range in monitoring the anticoagulant activity of direct factor Xa inhibitors. Hence, new assays are needed. We modified a PT assay by adding calcium chloride (CaCl2) to the thromboplastin reagent to increase assay dynamic range and improve sensitivity. Effects of calcium and sodium ion concentrations, and sample handling, were evaluated to optimize assay performance. Increasing concentrations of calcium ions produced progressive increases in PT across the factor Xa inhibitor concentrations of 0 to 2500 nmol/L for razaxaban and apixaban. The greatest effect was seen when the thromboplastin reagent was diluted 1:2.25 with 100 mmol/L CaCl2 (thus selected for routine use). The optimized assay showed an interassay precision of 1.5 to 9.3 percentage coefficient of variation (%CV) for razaxaban and 3.1 to 4.6 %CV for apixaban. We conclude that the modified PT assay is likely to be suitable as a pharmacodynamic marker for activity at therapeutic concentrations of factor Xa inhibitors.

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