Point-of-care coagulation monitoring: first clinical experience using a paper-based lateral flow diagnostic device
Vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin are the most widely used class of oral anticoagulants. Due to a narrow therapeutic window, patients on warfarin require regular monitoring. Self-testing using point-of-care (POC) diagnostic devices is available, but cost makes this monitoring method beyond reach for many. The main objective of this research was to assess the clinical utility of a low-cost, paper-based lateral flow POC diagnostic device developed for anticoagulation monitoring without the need for a separate electronic reader. Custom-fabricated lateral flow assay (LFA) test strips comprised of a glass fiber sample pad, a nitrocellulose analytical membrane, a cellulose wicking pad, and a plastic backing card were assembled in a plastic cassette. Healthy volunteers and patients on warfarin therapy were recruited for this prospective study. For each participant, a whole blood sample was collected via fingerstick to determine: (1) international normalized ratio (INR) using the CoaguChek® XS coagulometer, (2) hematocrit by centrifugation, and (3) red blood cell (RBC) travel distance on the experimental LFA device after 240 s using digital image analysis. RBC travel distance measured on the LFA device using blood samples obtained from warfarin patients positively correlated with increasing INR value and the LFA device had the capability to statistically distinguish between healthy volunteer INR values and those for patients groups with INR ≥ 2.6. From these data, it is predicted that this low-cost, paper-based LFA device can have clinical utility for identifying anticoagulated patients taking vitamin K antagonists who are outside of the desired therapeutic efficacy window.
KeywordsWarfarin Coagulation monitoring Lateral flow Paper-based Self-testing Point-of-care
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (ENG 1236987) and the University of Cincinnati Research Council Interdisciplinary Program. The authors thank the staff at St. Elizabeth Healthcare (Fort Thomas, KY) for their assistance during the clinical trial.
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