Biological Basis for High Sensitivity of Washed Platelets to Activation by HIT Antibodies

Table 4 lists differences between using washed platelets and platelets suspended in citrate-anticoagulated plasma to study HIT antibody-mediated platelet activation. Some of these differences may be important in explaining the greater sensitivity and specificity of washed platelets in detecting HIT antibodies.

1. Baseline platelet activation, including platelet-granule release, occurs during preparation of washed platelets. This enhances the platelet-binding capacity of heparin (Home and Chao, 1989) and may also increase the availability of PF4 to form the target antigen.

TABLE 4 Comparison Between Citrated Platelet-Rich Plasma and Washed Platelet Assays


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