Thromboelastography® (TEG) utilizes kaolin, an intrinsic pathway activator, to assess clotting function. Recent published studies suggest that TEG results are commonly normal in patients receiving warfarin, despite an increased International Normalized Ratio (INR). Because RapidTEG™ includes tissue factor, an extrinsic pathway activator, as well as kaolin, we hypothesized that RapidTEG would be more sensitive in detecting a warfarin-effect.
Included in this prospective study were 22 consecutive patients undergoing elective cardioversion and receiving warfarin. Prior to cardioversion, blood was collected to assess INR, Prothrombin Time, TEG, and RapidTEG.
INR Results: 2.8 ± 0.5 (1.6 to 4.2). Prothrombin Time Results: 19.1 ± 2.2 (13.9. to 24.3).
TEG Results (Reference Range): R-Time: 8.3 ± 2.7 (2–8); K-Time: 2.1 ± 1.4 (1–3); Angle: 62.5 ± 10.3 (55–78); MA: 63.2 ± 10.3 (51–69); G: 9.4 ± 3.5 (4.6-10.9); R-Time within normal range: 10 (45.5%) with INR 2.9 ± 0.3; Correlation coefficients for INR and each of the 5 TEG variables were insignificant (P > 0.05).
RapidTEG Results (Reference Range): ACT: 132 ± 58 (86–118); K-Time: 1.2 ± 0.5 (1–2); Angle: 75.4 ± 5.2 (64–80); MA: 63.4 ± 5.1 (52–71); G: 8.9 ± 2.0 (5.0-11.6); ACT within normal range: 9 (40.9%) with INR 2.7 ± 0.5; Correlation coefficients for INR and each of the 5 RapidTEG variables were insignificant (P > 0.05).
TEG, using kaolin activation, and RapidTEG, with kaolin and tissue factor activation, were normal in a substantial percent of warfarin patients, despite an increased INR. The false-negative rate for detecting warfarin coagulopathy with either test is unacceptable. The lack of correlation between INR and all TEG and RapidTEG components further indicates that these methodologies are insensitive to warfarin effects. Findings suggest that intrinsic pathway activation may mitigate detection of an extrinsic pathway coagulopathy.
Warfarin; Thromboelastography; Coagulopathy
Chronic antithrombotic therapy involves the use of anticoagulants, antiplatelets given either as monotherapy or in combination for the prevention of thrombotic complications. The most feared and sometimes fatal complication with this therapy is bleeding. It should be considered a “golden rule” that a drug or combination of drugs that maximizes efficiency (decreased thromboembolic risk) will probably be less safe (increased risk of bleeding), and this holds true either for single therapy or during combined therapy. The chances of bleeding indicated by risk tables can be useful but show only a snapshot, and the biological, social, environmental, and drug changes and therapeutic adherence also determine changes in the risk of thrombosis and bleeding. Bleeding is an eventuality that occurs in places of “locus minoris resistentiae,” and the results of careful phase 3 studies thus cannot be completely predictive of outcomes when a medication is introduced on the pharmaceutical market. With the use of warfarin, the International Normalized Ratio (INR) that has been established to indicate adequately balanced therapy is between 2.0 and 3.0. With the new oral anticoagulants, the pharmaceutical companies emphasize that it is not necessary to monitor anticoagulant effects. In studies with different doses of new oral anticoagulants, however, incidence of clinically significant bleeding complications have been directly related to the doses. Therefore, therapeutic excesses can condition bleeding risk and therapeutic limitation can increase thrombotic risk, especially when short-acting drugs such as the new oral anticoagulants are used. Hence, it is imperative to establish an appropriate method for monitoring new oral anticoagulants, setting levels of safety and effectiveness through periodic dosage and monitoring of their anticoagulant effects. Therefore, we still recommend the use of anticoagulation units for monitoring during treatment with the new oral anticoagulants.
New oral anticoagulant; NOAC; Bleeding; Laboratory control
Paxillin is a LIM domain protein localized at integrin-mediated focal adhesions. Although paxillin is thought to modulate the functions of integrins, little is known about the contribution of paxillin to signaling pathways in platelets. Here, we studied the role of paxillin in platelet activation in vitro and in vivo.
Methods and results
We generated paxillin knockdown (Pxn-KD) platelets in mice by transplanting bone marrow cells transduced with a lentiviral vector carrying a short hairpin RNA sequence, and confirmed that paxillin expression was significantly reduced in platelets derived from the transduced cells. Pxn-KD platelets showed a slight increased in size and augmented integrin αIIbβ3 activation following stimulation of multiple receptors including glycoprotein VI and G protein-coupled receptors. Thromboxane A2 biosynthesis and the release of α-granules and dense granules in response to agonist stimulation were also enhanced in Pxn-KD platelets. However, Pxn-KD did not increase tyrosine phosphorylation or intracellular calcium mobilization. Intravital imaging confirmed that Pxn-KD enhanced thrombus formation in vivo.
Our findings suggest that paxillin negatively regulates several common platelet signaling pathways, resulting in the activation of integrin αIIbβ3 and release reactions.
Platelet; Glycoprotein; Platelet aggregation; Release reaction
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common tachyarrhythmia in Australia, with a prevalence over 10% in older patients. AF is the leading preventable cause of ischaemic stroke, and strokes due to AF have a higher mortality and morbidity. Stroke prevention is therefore a key management strategy for AF patients, in addition to rate and rhythm control. Anticoagulation with warfarin has been an enduring gold standard for stroke prevention in NVAF patients. In Australia, three novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs), apixaban, dabigatran and rivaroxaban are now approved and reimbursed for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular AF (NVAF). International European Cardiology guidelines now recommend either a NOAC or warfarin for NVAF patients with a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥2, unless contraindicated. Apixaban is a direct factor Xa inhibitor with a 12-hour half-life and 25% renal excretion that was found in a large trial of NVAF patients to be superior to warfarin in preventing stroke or systemic embolism. In this trial population, apixaban also resulted in less bleeding and a lower mortality rate than warfarin.
Clinical experience with apixaban outside of clinical trials has been limited, and there is currently little evidence to guide the management of bleeding or invasive procedures in patients taking apixaban. The relevant currently available animal and ex vivo human data were collected, analyzed and summarized.
This multi-disciplinary consensus statement has been written to serve as a guide for healthcare practitioners prescribing apixaban in Australia, with a focus on acute and emergency management.
The predictable pharmacokinetics and minimal drug interactions of apixaban should allow for safe anticoagulation in the majority of patients, including temporary interruption for elective procedures. In the absence of published data, patients actively bleeding on apixaban should receive standard supportive treatment. Quantitative assays of apixaban level such as chromogenic anti-Xa assays are becoming available but their utility is unproven in this setting. Specific antidotes for novel anticoagulants, including apixaban, are in clinical development.
Apixaban; Novel oral anticoagulants; Bleeding; Perioperative management
Left atrial appendage (LAA) thrombosis is an important cause of cardiogenic cerebral thromboembolism. Apixaban is a member of the class of novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) and is superior to warfarin in preventing stroke or systemic embolism, causes less bleeding, and results in lower mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation. There are few reports of resolution of LAA thrombus with other NOAC. We present a 72-year-old male patient with persistent atrial fibrillation associated with left atrial thrombus. Sixteen days of apixaban treatment showed complete thrombus resolution. In this study, soluble fibrin and D-dimer levels decreased without prolongation of international normalized ratio (INR) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT).
Atrial fibrillation; Left atrial appendage thrombus; Apixaban
The worldwide EINSTEIN DVT and EINSTEIN PE studies randomized 8282 patients with acute symptomatic deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE) and, for the first time in trials in this setting, included patients in China. This analysis evaluates the results of these studies in this subgroup of patients.
A total of 439 Chinese patients who had acute symptomatic DVT (n=211), or PE with or without DVT (n=228), were randomized to receive rivaroxaban (15 mg twice daily for 21 days, followed by 20 mg once daily) or standard therapy of enoxaparin overlapping with and followed by an adjusted-dose vitamin K antagonist, for 3, 6, or 12 months. The primary efficacy outcome was symptomatic recurrent venous thromboembolism. The principal safety outcome was major or non-major clinically relevant bleeding.
The primary efficacy outcome occurred in seven (3.2%) of the 220 patients in the rivaroxaban group and in seven (3.2%) of the 219 patients in the standard-therapy group (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval 0.36–3.0; p=0.94). The principal safety outcome occurred in 13 (5.9%) patients in the rivaroxaban group and in 20 (9.2%) patients in the standard-therapy group (hazard ratio, 0.63; 95% confidence interval 0.31–1.26; p=0.19). Major bleeding was observed in no patients in the rivaroxaban group and in five (2.3%) patients in the standard-therapy group. In fragile patients (defined as age >75 years, creatinine clearance <50 mL/min, and/or body weight ≤50 kg), the principal safety outcome occurred in four (8.9%) of the 45 patients who received rivaroxaban compared with seven (15.2%) of the 46 patients who received standard therapy.
In Chinese patients with acute symptomatic DVT and/or PE, rivaroxaban was as efficacious as enoxaparin followed by vitamin K antagonist therapy, with a similar safety profile. The relative efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban compared with enoxaparin/vitamin K antagonist were consistent with that found in the rest of the world.
Trial registration number
EINSTEIN PE, ClinicalTrials.gov
NCT00439777; EINSTEIN DVT, ClinicalTrials.gov
Rivaroxaban; Deep vein thrombosis; Pulmonary embolism; Venous thromboembolism; Vitamin K antagonist; Randomized trial
Lupus anticoagulant (LA) is known to inhibit thrombin generation although patients have an increased risk to develop thrombosis. We tried to determine whether thrombin generation is altered in plasma samples of patients with abnormal test results in LA routine diagnostics and whether its measurement may improve the risk assessment of thrombosis.
Samples from 63 patients (39 with abnormal test results; 24 controls) were included in the study. Measurement of diluted Russel’s viper venom time (dRVVT) was part of the initial guideline conform diagnostic procedure for detection of LA. In addition, measurement of anticardiolipin-IgM, -IgG and β2-glycoprotein-I-IgM, -IgG were performed. Thrombin generation was measured using two different phospholipid concentrations in the starting reagent.
Analyzing all samples by logistic regression, thrombin generation after induction with high phospholipid concentrations was the best predictor of thrombosis. After preselection of samples with alterations in dRVVT, specificity of selected thrombin generation derived parameters for the detection of previous thrombosis increased in this subgroup.
In patients with phospholipid-dependent prolongation of dRVVT, thrombin generation is variably inhibited and the degree of inhibition corresponds to the occurrence of previous thrombosis. Measuring thrombin generation in patients with phospholipid-dependent dRVVT prolongation may improve risk assessment of thrombosis.
Thrombin generation; Lupus anticoagulant; Thrombosis risk
Platelets were activated under the infection with H. pylori in human and mice. We investigated the role of VacA, an exotoxin released by H. pylori in this context. Acid-activated VacA, but not heated VacA, induced platelet CD62P expression. However, VacA reacted with none of the alleged VacA receptors present on platelet membranes. We therefore analyzed VacA associated proteins obtained through VacA affinity chromatography, using MALDI-TOF-MS. Multimerin1 was detected in two consecutive experiments, as the binding protein for VacA. Plasmon resonance confirmed their binding, and dot blot analysis revealed that the peptide sequence AA 321-340 of multimerin 1 is the binding site for VacA. In conclusion, we propose a new interaction between multimerin1 and VacA , which may give another insight into H. pylori-induced platelet activations under H. pylori infection.
Platelet; VacA; Multimerin1; CD62P; ITP
To avoid misinterpretation and mismanagement clinicians should be aware of the interference of new direct oral anticoagulants (DOA) on coagulation assays. A variety of oral anticoagulants targeting specific coagulation factors has already entered the market, and new indications for DOA will be released each year over the next few years. Due to their heterogeneous mode of action and different pharmacokinetic profile each DOA will vary in its effects on coagulations assays, and it is of current importance to recognize these variable effects.
In this summary the main considerable factors for correct laboratory test interpretation under DOA treatment are described.
Haemorrhage is the primary complication of anticoagulation therapy with the gastrointestinal, urinary and nasal tracts the most common sites of bleeding. Haematoma within solid organs is uncommon especially in the absence of blunt trauma. We describe two patients on long term Warfarin therapy who developed focal haematomas within the pancreas. To the best of our knowledge these are the first isolated unprovoked focal pancreatic hematoma cases reported in the literature. The non-specific clinical symptoms and confusing radiological features mimicked pancreatic malignancy and this led to misdiagnosis in the one patient who underwent unnecessary surgical exploration. The haematoma was correctly identified in the second patient who was managed conservatively and had an uneventful recovery.
Plasma protein-C exerts anticoagulatory effects by inactivating factors V and VIII. Hereditary protein C deficiency is transmitted as an autosomal dominant disorder. Homozygous individuals usually develop purpura fulminans as newborns; heterozygous protein C-deficient individuals are at increased risk for venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. However, arterial thrombosis occurring as a result of congenital protein-C deficiency is still controversial. We describe a young patient with heterozygous protein-C deficiency who experienced both pulmonary embolism as well as myocardial infarction due to thrombotic occlusion without underlying major risk factors. Acute myocardial infarction in young without underlying major risk factors may be evaluated for protein c deficiency.
Standard treatment for venous thromboembolism (VTE) consists of a heparin combined with vitamin K antagonists. Direct oral anticoagulants have been investigated for acute and extended treatment of symptomatic VTE; their use could avoid parenteral treatment and/or laboratory monitoring of anticoagulant effects.
A prespecified pooled analysis of the EINSTEIN-DVT and EINSTEIN-PE studies compared the efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban (15 mg twice-daily for 21 days, followed by 20 mg once-daily) with standard-therapy (enoxaparin 1.0 mg/kg twice-daily and warfarin or acenocoumarol). Patients were treated for 3, 6, or 12 months and followed for suspected recurrent VTE and bleeding. The prespecified noninferiority margin was 1.75.
A total of 8282 patients were enrolled; 4151 received rivaroxaban and 4131 received standard-therapy. The primary efficacy outcome occurred in 86 (2.1%) rivaroxaban-treated patients compared with 95 (2.3%) standard-therapy-treated patients (hazard ratio, 0.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66–1.19; pnoninferiority < 0.001). Major bleeding was observed in 40 (1.0%) and 72 (1.7%) patients in the rivaroxaban and standard-therapy groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.37–0.79; p = 0.002). In key subgroups, including fragile patients, cancer patients, patients presenting with large clots, and those with a history of recurrent VTE, the efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban were similar compared with standard-therapy.
The single-drug approach with rivaroxaban resulted in similar efficacy to standard-therapy and was associated with a significantly lower rate of major bleeding. Efficacy and safety results were consistent among key patient subgroups.
EINSTEIN-PE: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00439777; EINSTEIN-DVT: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00440193.
Rivaroxaban; Standard therapy; Venous thromboembolism; Randomized controlled trials
Anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin has historically been used for the long term management of patients with thromboembolic disease. However, these agents have a slow onset of action which requires bridging therapy with heparin and its analogues, which are available only in parenteral route. To overcome these limitations, new oral anticoagulants such as factor Xa inhibitors and direct thrombin inhibitors have been developed. The aim of this article is to systematically review the phase 3 clinical trials of new oral anticoagulants in common medical conditions.
We searched PubMed (Medline) from January 2007 to February 2013 using “Oral anticoagulants”, “New oral anticoagulants”, “Randomized controlled trial”, “Novel anticoagulants”, “Apixaban”, “Rivaroxaban”, “Edoxaban”, “Dabigatran etexilate”, “Dabigatran” and a combination of the above terms. The available evidence from the phase 3 RCTs was summarized on the basis of individual drug and the medical conditions categorized into “atrial fibrillation”, “acute coronary syndrome”, “orthopedic surgery”, “venous thromboembolism” and “medically ill patients”.
Apixaban, rivaroxaban and dabigatran have been found to be either non-inferior or superior to enoxaparin in prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism in knee and hip replacement with similar bleeding risk, superior to warfarin for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation with significant reduction in the risk of major bleeding, non-inferior to aspirin for reducing cardiovascular death and stroke in acute coronary syndrome with significant increase in the risk of major bleed. Rivaroxaban and dabigatran are also superior to the conventional agents in the management of symptomatic venous thromboembolism. However, compared to enoxaparin, apixaban and rivaroxaban use lead to significantly increased bleeding risk in medically ill patients. Additional studies evaluating the specific reversal agents of these new drugs for the management of life-threatening bleeding or other adverse effects are necessary.
Considering their pharmacological properties, their efficacy and bleeding complications, the new oral agents offer a net favourable clinical profile in orthopedic surgery, atrial fibrillation, acute coronary syndrome and increase the risk of bleeding in critically ill patients. Further studies are necessary to determine the long term safety and to identify the specific reversal agents of these new drugs.
Vitamin K antagonists; Oral anticoagulants; Apixaban; Rivaroxaban; Dabigatran; Orthopedic surgery; Knee replacement; Hip replacement; Acute coronary syndrome; Atrial fibrillation; Venous thromboembolism; Critically ill patients; Systematic review
Behcet’s disease is a chronic multi-system disorder of unknown etiology with protean manifestations. Venous thromboembolism is more common than arterial thrombosis, with deep vein thrombosis being the most frequent. Endothelial dysfunction resulting from vascular inflammation is considered to be an important factor of thrombosis, although the endothelial injury itself cannot completely explain the hypercoagulable state of the disease because other vasculitis syndromes do not increase the risk of thrombosis. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of activated protein C resistance (APC-R) in Egyptian patients with Behcet’s disease. Also, to detect hyperhomocysteinemia in selected cases (with vascular complications) to assess their relationship with thromboembolic complications. The APC resistance ratio mean in the group of patients with vascular involvement was 2.6 ± 0.8 which was less than the group with no vascular involvement 2.8 ± 0.6, with non- significant P-value (0.5). There was more incidence of ocular lesions in the group of patients with high homocysteine level than the group of patients with normal homocytsteine level with significant P-value (0.08).
The incidence of venous thromboembolic disease (VTED) is estimated to be, on average, 1–2 cases per 1,000 individuals per year worldwide. There are few data concerning the incidence rate (IR) of VTED in the Argentinean population at large.
Our aim was to estimate the IR of VTED at the Italian Hospital Medical Care Program (IHMCP) in Buenos Aires, the most populous city in Argentina.
This prospective cohort study evaluated all consecutive incident cases of pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) confirmed in patients over the age of 17 who were members of the IHMCP from June 2006 to May 2012. Any patient who had an initial confirmed VTED episode and was a member of the IHMCP at the time of diagnosis was considered an incident case.
There were 1,138 cases of VTED for 687,871 person-years of follow-up. The crude IR of VTED was 1.65 (95% CI: 1.56 to 1.75) per 1,000 person-years. The highest IR was found in subjects >80 years old (5.92 per 1,000 person years; 95% CI: 5.41 to 6.49).
The IRs adjusted to the population of the city of Buenos Aires were 0.90 (95% CI: 0.84 to 0.95) for VTED, 0.71 (95% CI: 0.66 to 0.76) for DVT, and 0.34 (95% CI: 0.31 to 0.37) for PTE.
VTED is a common health problem with a high IR in members of the IHMCP, especially the elderly. This is the first paper to report prospectively the cumulative incidence of VTED in Latin America.
Epidemiology; Incidence; Pulmonary embolism; Venous thromboembolism; Venous thrombosis
New oral anticoagulants (NOAC) are approved for several indications for prophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolism and for prevention of embolism in atrial fibrillation at fixed daily doses without need of laboratory guided dose adjustment. Due to their low molecular weight of about 500 to 600 Dalton and their hydrophilicity free anticoagulant is excreted immediately through glomerular filtration into the urine. Impairment of renal function may increase the plasma concentration of the anticoagulants and lowered creatinine clearance is a declared contraindication. In contrast to the initial aim of development the anticoagulant effect is required to be determined in special clinical situations. Several specific and non-specific assays using plasma samples are currently undergoing standardization. As all NOACs are excreted into the urine, specific assays were developed for this matrix to determine them quantitatively of qualitatively. Urine samples can be easily and repetitively obtained avoiding problems and risks associated with blood sampling. The qualitative assay can be performed as a point of care test (POC) also by the patient by judging the different colours for the absence or presence of the drugs with the naked eye. The test is rapid (results available within 15 min), sensitive, specific and accurate and does not require a purified NOAC as control. The tests may be a tool for clinicians who need to know for treatment decisions if a NOAC is on board or not. As the tests are specific for oral direct thrombin inhibitors and for oral direct factor Xa inhibitors, the indication does not interfere with other qualitative POC test in development using clotting systems. The test may be indicated for patients at acute hospitalization, before surgery or central nervous system puncture anaesthesia, if fibrinolytic therapy is indicated, acute deterioration of renal function, and for control of adherence to therapy.
Oral anticoagulant; Dabigatran; Rivaroxaban; Apixaban; Renal function; Anticoagulation; Urine; Coagulation assay; Monitoring; Compliance
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common form of heart arrhythmia and a leading cause of stroke and systemic embolism. Chronic anticoagulation is recommended for preventing those complications. Our study aimed to compare the cost/utility (CU) of three main anticoagulation options: 1) standard warfarin dosing (SD-W) 2) warfarin dosage under the guidance of CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotyping (GT-W) and 3) dabigatran 150 mg twice a day.
A Markov state transition model was built to simulate the expected C/U of dabigatran, SD-W and GT-W anticoagulation therapy for the prevention of stroke and systemic thromboembolism in patients with atrial fibrillation over a period of 5 years under the perspective of the public health care system. Model inputs were derived from extensive literature search and government’s data bases. Outcomes considered were the number of total major events (thromboembolic and hemorrhagic events), total costs in Canadian dollars (1CAD$ = 1$US), total quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), costs/QALYs and incremental costs/QALYs gained (ICUR).
Raw base case results show that SD-W has the lowest C/U ratio. However, the dabigatran option might be considered as an alternative, as its cost per additional QALY gained compared to SD-W is CAD $ 4 765, i.e. less than 50 000, the ICUR threshold generally accepted to adopt an intervention. At the same threshold, GT-W doesn’t appear to be an alternative to SD-W. Our results were robust to one-way and multi-way sensitivity analyses.
SD-W has the lowest C/U ratio among the 3 options. However, dabigatran might be considered as an alternative. GT-W is not C/U and should not currently be recommended for the routine anticoagulotherapy management of AF patients.
Atrial fibrillation; Simulation; Cost-utility; Dabigatran etexilate; Warfarin; Anticoagulation; CYP2C9; VKORC1
Direct oral anticoagulants that target a single coagulation factor have been developed as an alternative to standard therapies with heparin and/or vitamin K antagonists. The purpose of this study was to derive non-inferiority margins suitable for randomised clinical studies designed to evaluate these agents for the treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE).
We performed a systematic review to derive non-inferiority margins suitable for use in studies evaluating direct oral anticoagulants for the treatment of VTE. A PubMed search identified publications that evaluated current standard treatment versus placebo, ‘no treatment’ or ‘less intensive treatment’ in patients with symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE). Publications were eligible if they had a randomised study design, included patients with symptomatic DVT and/or PE, used objective diagnostic methods to document the index event and reported objectively confirmed symptomatic recurrent VTE.
Fourteen publications were included in the analysis. Recurrent VTE occurred in 25 (1.5%) out of 1715 patients who received current standard of care and in 157 (9.2%) out of 1711 patients who received placebo, ‘no treatment’ or ‘less intensive treatment’, for an odds ratio of 0.18 (95% confidence interval, 0.14−0.25; test for heterogeneity, p=0.87). In order to preserve 50% or 75% of the established treatment effect using a linear scale, the corresponding thresholds for non-inferiority equalled 2.50 and 1.75, respectively.
This systematic review and statistical approach determined non-inferiority margins suitable for use in studies of direct oral anticoagulants for the treatment of DVT and/or PE.
Non-inferiority margin; Oral anticoagulants; Venous thromboembolism
Microplate-based thrombin generation test (TGT) is widely used as clinical measure of global hemostatic potential and it becomes a useful tool for control of drug potency and quality by drug manufactures. However, the convenience of the microtiter plate technology can be deceiving: microplate assays are prone to location-based variability in different parts of the microtiter plate.
In this report, we evaluated the well-to-well consistency of the TGT variant specifically applied to the quantitative detection of the thrombogenic substances in the immune globulin product. We also studied the utility of previously described microplate layout designs in the TGT experiment.
Location of the sample on the microplate (location effect) contributes to the variability of TGT measurements. Use of manual pipetting techniques and applications of the TGT to the evaluation of procoagulant enzymatic substances are especially sensitive. The effects were not sensitive to temperature or choice of microplate reader. Smallest location effects were observed with automated dispenser-based calibrated thrombogram instrument. Even for an automated instrument, the use of calibration curve resulted in up to 30% bias in thrombogenic potency assignment.
Use of symmetrical version of the strip-plot layout was demonstrated to help to minimize location artifacts even under the worst-case conditions. Strip-plot layouts are required for quantitative thrombin-generation based bioassays used in the biotechnological field.
Thrombin generation test; Location effects; Immunoglobulin; Thrombogenicity
Research into new anticoagulants for preventing and treating thromboembolic disorders has focused on targeting single enzymes in the coagulation cascade, particularly Factor Xa and thrombin, inhibition of which greatly decreases thrombin generation. Based on the results of phase III clinical trials, rivaroxaban, a direct Factor Xa inhibitor, has been approved in many countries for the management of several thromboembolic disorders. Owing to its predictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics, fixed-dose regimens are used without the need for routine coagulation monitoring. In situations where assessment of rivaroxaban exposure may be helpful, anti-Factor Xa chromogenic assays (in tandem with standard calibration curves generated with the use of rivaroxaban calibrators and controls) could be used. It is important to note that test results will be affected by the timing of blood sampling after rivaroxaban intake. In addition, the anti-Factor Xa method measures the drug concentration and not the intensity of the drug’s anticoagulant activity, and a higher than expected rivaroxaban plasma level does not necessarily indicate an increased risk of bleeding complications. Therefore, clinicians need to consider test results in relation to the pharmacokinetics of rivaroxaban and other patient risk factors associated with bleeding.
Factor Xa; Laboratory assessment; Rivaroxaban
Results of clotting tests used to measure the effect of old and new antithrombotic drugs can be expressed in different ways and this is considered as one of the sources of variability to explain the differences of results obtained for the same patient plasma when tested in different laboratories. This is particularly important for patient on vitamin K antagonists and led to the development of the international normalized ratio system of results reporting in this setting. Although standardization of results expression for the tests meant to measure the anticoagulant effect of new oral anticoagulants (NOA) is presently not perceived as an issue, it may become crucially important at the time when test-specific cut off values will be available to help assessing the risk of bleeding in individual patients who are on over-dosage. Effort should therefore be made to harmonize as much as possible results obtained in different laboratories using the same method, but different reagents. This article is aimed at discussing different options of results reporting of tests for NOA and their merits/pitfalls.
New oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have been introduced to improve anticoagulant therapy worldwide, but safe implementation may require additional measures. First, optimization of dose adjustment based on therapeutic levels of the drug may be more appropriate than fixed dose therapy. The development and implementation in quantitative laboratory assays will enable further dose optimization. Second, non-adherence to medication is a potential threat to the safe use of NOACs. Since cardiovascular medication may not be optimally used in about 50% of patients, procedures to improve adherence are imperative, also for NOAC therapy and in particular in elderly patients.
New oral anticoagulants; Adherence; Vitamin K antagonists; Laboratory assays
Unlike traditional anticoagulants, the more recently developed agents rivaroxaban, dabigatran and apixaban target specific factors in the coagulation cascade to attenuate thrombosis. Rivaroxaban and apixaban directly inhibit Factor Xa, whereas dabigatran directly inhibits thrombin. All three drugs exhibit predictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics that allow for fixed oral doses in a variety of settings. The population pharmacokinetics of rivaroxaban, and also dabigatran, have been evaluated in a series of models using patient data from phase II and III clinical studies. These models point towards a consistent pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile, even when extreme demographic factors are taken into account, meaning that doses rarely need to be adjusted. The exception is in certain patients with renal impairment, for whom pharmacokinetic modelling provided the rationale for reduced doses as part of some regimens. Although not routinely required, the ability to measure plasma concentrations of these agents could be advantageous in emergency situations, such as overdose. Specific pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics must be taken into account when selecting an appropriate assay for monitoring. The anti-Factor Xa chromogenic assays now available are likely to provide the most appropriate means of determining plasma concentrations of rivaroxaban and apixaban, and specific assays for dabigatran are in development.
Rivaroxaban; Population Pharmacokinetics; Dabigatran; Apixaban; Coagulation Monitoring
Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) is caused by antibodies that recognize platelet factor 4 (PF4) associated with polyanionic glycosaminoglycan drugs or displayed on vascular cell membranes. These antibodies are elicited by multimolecular complexes that can occur when heparin is administered in clinical settings associated with abundant PF4. Heparin binding alters native PF4 and elicits immune recognition and response. While the presence of heparin is integral to immunogenesis, the HIT antibody binding site is within PF4. Thus HIT antibodies develop and function to cause thrombocytopenia and/or thrombosis only in the presence of PF4. Future emphasis on understanding the biology, turnover and regulation of PF4 may lead to insights into the prevention and treatment of HIT.
Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT); Platelet Factor 4 (PF4); Heparin
While the assessment of analytical precision within medical laboratories has received much attention in scientific enquiry, the degree of as well as the sources causing variation between them remains incompletely understood. In this study, we quantified the variance components when performing coagulation tests with identical analytical platforms in different laboratories and computed intraclass correlations coefficients (ICC) for each coagulation test.
Data from eight laboratories measuring fibrinogen twice in twenty healthy subjects with one out of 3 different platforms and single measurements of prothrombin time (PT), and coagulation factors II, V, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and XIII were analysed. By platform, the variance components of (i) the subjects, (ii) the laboratory and the technician and (iii) the total variance were obtained for fibrinogen as well as (i) and (iii) for the remaining factors using ANOVA.
The variability for fibrinogen measurements within a laboratory ranged from 0.02 to 0.04, the variability between laboratories ranged from 0.006 to 0.097. The ICC for fibrinogen ranged from 0.37 to 0.66 and from 0.19 to 0.80 for PT between the platforms. For the remaining factors the ICC’s ranged from 0.04 (FII) to 0.93 (FVIII).
Variance components that could be attributed to technicians or laboratory procedures were substantial, led to disappointingly low intraclass correlation coefficients for several factors and were pronounced for some of the platforms. Our findings call for sustained efforts to raise the level of standardization of structures and procedures involved in the quantification of coagulation factors.
Inter-rater variability; Intraclass correlation coefficient; Reproducibility of testing; Test validity