In recent years, several selectively acting anticoagulants, including the direct thrombin inhibitors (DTI; argatroban, dabigatran) and the factor Xa inhibitors (rivaroxaban, apixaban, fondaparinux), have been developed. With their clinical application increasing, it is of interest to evaluate their interference with classical haemostaseological point-of-care tests. Additionally, the effect of the investigated anticoagulants on platelet function tests will come increasingly more into focus for monitoring not only hereditary platelet dysfunction, but also antiplatelet therapy.Methods:
Blood samples from healthy volunteers were spiked with therapeutic and supratherapeutic concentrations of the drugs listed above and investigated with regard to their effects on the following POCTs: activated clotting time (ACT), thromboelastometry with ROTEM®, PFA® and Multiplate®. Light-transmission aggregometry (LTA) was used for a platelet function assay.Results:
At supratherapeutic concentrations, ACT and ROTEM® analysis were always influenced after administration of the drugs listed above (except fondaparinux in EXTEM-CT). Therapeutic concentrations showed differential effects on these assays. LTA measurements revealed a distinct decrease in α-thrombin-induced platelet aggregation for both DTIs (therapeutic and supratherapeutic concentrations), while argatroban reduced platelet function in supratherapeutic concentrations. None of the drugs seemed to have any influence on PFA® or Multiplate®.Conclusions:
Selective thrombin and factor Xa inhibitors exhibit distinct effects on POCTs and platelet function tests. This must be considered in assessing assay results when taking medical decisions.