SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Heparin-associated thrombocytopenia (HAT) is a severe adverse reaction of heparin therapy. Patients with the immunologic type of HAT are at risk of developing arterial and venous thromboembolic complications caused by an antibody which activates platelets in the presence of heparin. Yet, there are no means to identify patients at risk of developing HAT before heparin administration. We investigated the frequency of HLA class-I and class-II antigens in 47 patients with the immunologic type of HAT verified by a positive two-point heparin-induced platelet activation assay. Compared to a control group of 629 healthy individuals HLA antigens B8 and DR3 were less frequent, whereas DR4 and DR53 had a higher frequency. However, none of these antigens proved to be statistically significant. This is another example of an immunologically mediated disease showing no discernible association with the HLA system.