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The NEQAS Blood Coagulation Annual Scientific Meeting, held in Sheffield on 8th and 9th September 2010, was as usual very well attended and received. As a company it gave us a great opportunity to catch up with our customers and to sit in on the lectures to keep our knowledge fresh. Whilst all the lectures were excellent, two were of particular interest to us as they related to key product areas:

‘Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia’ by Andreas Greinacher

The mechanisms and complications associated with HIT were outlined. It was suggested that the best way to diagnose HIT is to combine the ‘4T’ pretest probability score with laboratory testing.

Laboratory diagnosis using Ag tests and functional assays were discussed. It was shown that the anti-PF4/Heparin IgG response occurs at the same time as the IgM response. These, along with the fact that the IgG isotype is the most clinically significant, means tests detecting IgG only are preferable. Whilst functional assays are the ‘gold standard’ laboratory test, anti-PF4/Heparin IgG EIA’s are excellent for ruling out HIT.

HIA Assay Information

‘Monitoring New Anticoagulants’ by Steve Kitchen

The presentation focused on the new oral anticoagulants rivaroxaban and dabigatran, which are considered to be safer and more effective than existing anticoagulants in use. Whilst routine monitoring is agreed to be unnecessary for these newer drugs, some patients may need to have their clotting status or drug levels tested. The effects of these drugs on traditional clotting tests was shown, it was suggested that specific assays are needed to accurately determine the concentration of the drugs.


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