Prevalence and outcome of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia diagnosed under veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: a retrospective nationwide study
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Thrombocytopenia is a frequent and serious adverse event in patients treated with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) for refractory cardiogenic shock. Similarly to postcardiac surgery patients, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) could represent the causative underlying mechanism. However, the epidemiology as well as related mortality regarding HIT and VA-ECMO remains largely unknown. We aimed to define the prevalence and associated 90-day mortality of HIT diagnosed under VA-ECMO.
This retrospective study included patients under VA-ECMO from 20 French centers between 2012 and 2016. Selected patients were hospitalized for more than 3 days with high clinical suspicion of HIT and positive anti-PF4/heparin antibodies. Patients were classified according to results of functional tests as having either Confirmed or Excluded HIT.
A total of 5797 patients under VA-ECMO were screened; 39/5797 met the inclusion criteria, with HIT confirmed in 21/5797 patients (0.36% [95% CI] [0.21–0.52]). Fourteen of 39 patients (35.9% [20.8–50.9]) with suspected HIT were ultimately excluded because of negative functional assays. Drug-induced thrombocytopenia tended to be more frequent in Excluded HIT at the time of HIT suspicion (p = 0.073). The platelet course was similar between Confirmed and Excluded HIT (p = 0.65). Mortality rate was 33.3% [13.2–53.5] in Confirmed and 50% [23.8–76.2] in Excluded HIT (p = 0.48).
Prevalence of HIT among patients under VA-ECMO is extremely low at 0.36% with an associated mortality rate of 33.3%, which appears to be in the same range as that observed in patients treated with VA-ECMO without HIT. In addition, HIT was ultimately ruled out in one-third of patients with clinical suspicion of HIT and positive anti-PF4/heparin antibodies.
KeywordsECLS Thrombocytopenia Immuno-allergic heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
We thank Pierre Pothier (firstname.lastname@example.org) for editing the manuscript. Walid Oulehri and Romain Sonneville participated equally in this article.
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Conflicts of interest
Antoine Kimmoun received lecture fees from Aspen. Matthieu Schmidt received lecture fees from Gettinge and Drager. Alexandre Ouattara received honoraria as consultant to LFB, iSEP, Orion, Abiomed and Nordic Pharma. Bruno Levy received lecture fees from Gettinge. The other authors declare no conflict of interest related to the submitted paper.
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