Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a common differential diagnosis in cardiothoracic surgery. The latex immunoturbidimetric assay (LIA) is an enhanced immunoassay that has recently been introduced for the detection of total HIT immunoglobulin and retains a higher specificity of 95% compared to the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
To investigate if a semiquantitative relationship exists between increasing LIA levels beyond the current positivity threshold and its correlation to positive serotonin release assay results in cardiothoracic surgery.
This was a multicenter, observational cohort of cardiothoracic surgery patients initiated on anticoagulation with heparin-based products. To conduct sensitivity and specificity analysis of LIA values, HIT positive was defined as a LIA value ≥1 unit/mL and HIT negative was defined as a LIA level <1 unit/mL. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was utilized to evaluate the predictive performance of the LIA.
At manufactures’ cutoffs of ≥1.0 unit/mL, LIA sensitivity and specificity was 93.8% and 22%, respectively, yielding a false positive rate of 78%. At a higher cutoff of 4.5 units/mL, LIA sensitivity and specificity was 75% and 71%, respectively, yielding a false positive rate of 29% and an area under the ROC curve of 0.75 (P = .01; 95% confidence interval: 0.621-0.889). Bivalirudin was initiated in 84.6% of false positive LIA results.
This study suggests that the diagnostic accuracy of the LIA can be optimized by increasing the LIA positivity threshold. Proposing a higher LIA cutoff, may mitigate unwarranted anticoagulation and bleeding outcomes.