Overtreatment of Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia in the Surgical ICU. (Betters)

Harada MY, et al. Overtreatment of Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia in the Surgical ICU. Crit Care Med. 2017 Jan;45(1):28-34.

OBJECTIVE: Recent studies reveal a high occurrence of overdiagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in surgical patients with critical illness. The optimal criteria for diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia remain unclear, contributing to unnecessary treatment. We reviewed patients who were admitted to surgical ICUs and were suspected of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia to identify how often patients were correctly treated.

DESIGN: In this clinical prospective study, data were collected including age, sex, antiplatelet factor 4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, serotonin release assay, and Warkentin 4Ts scores. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia-positive patients were defined as those with both positive antiplatelet factor 4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (optical density, ≥ 0.40) and positive serotonin release assay results.

SETTING: Urban tertiary medical center.

PATIENTS: Patients admitted to the surgical and cardiac ICU who were presumed to have heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and underwent antiplatelet factor 4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and serotonin release assay testing between January 1, 2011, and August 1, 2014.

INTERVENTIONS: None.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A total of 135 patients had 4Ts, antiplatelet factor 4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and serotonin release assay scores. A total of 11 patients (8.1%) had positive serotonin release assay and 80 patients had positive antiplatelet factor 4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; 10 patients were identified as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia positive. Positive serotonin release assay was noted in nine of 11 patients (81.8%) with antiplatelet factor 4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay optical density greater than or equal to 2.0, compared with one of 22 patients (4.5%) with optical density values of 0.85-1.99, and one of 102 patients (1.0%) with optical density values of 0-0.84. Out of 135 patients, 29 patients (21.5%) received treatment with argatroban, lepirudin, or fondaparinux: 10 of 10 heparin-induced thrombocytopenia-positive patients (100%) compared with 19 of 125 heparin-induced thrombocytopenia-negative patients (15%).

CONCLUSIONS: Overtreatment of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in the surgical ICU continues even with recent increased caution encouraging a higher antiplatelet factor 4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay optical density threshold before initiating treatment. More stringent criteria should be used to determine when to order serologic testing and when the results of such testing should prompt a change in anticoagulant treatment. If antiplatelet factor 4/heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay is used to consider immediate treatment, an optical density greater than or equal to 2.0 may be a more appropriate threshold.

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Prognostic Impact of Persistent Thrombocytopenia During Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A Retrospective Analysis of Prospectively Collected Data From a Cohort of Patients With Left Ventricular Dysfunction After Cardiac Surgery. (Stulce)

Opfermann P, et al. Prognostic Impact of Persistent Thrombocytopenia During Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A Retrospective Analysis of Prospectively Collected Data From a Cohort of Patients With Left Ventricular Dysfunction After Cardiac Surgery. Crit Care Med. 2016 Dec;44(12):e1208-e1218.

OBJECTIVE: The prognostic impact of thrombocytopenia in patients supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation after cardiac surgery is uncertain. We investigated whether thrombocytopenia is independently predictive of poor outcome and describe the incidence and time course of thrombocytopenia in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients.

DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.

SETTING: Cardiosurgical ICU at a tertiary referral center.

PATIENTS: Three hundred adult patients supported with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for more than 24 hours because of refractory cardiogenic shock after heart surgery between January 2001 and December 2014.

INTERVENTIONS: None.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Two-way analysis of variance was used to compare the time course of platelet count changes between survivors and nonsurvivors. Using multiple Cox regression with time-dependent covariates, we investigated the impact of platelet count on 90-day mortality. In nonsurvivors, the daily incidence of moderate (< 100 – 50 × 10/L), severe (49 – 20 × 10/L), and very severe (< 20 × 10/L) thrombocytopenia was 50%, 54%, and 7%, respectively. Platelet count had a biphasic temporal pattern with an initial decrease until day 4-5 after the initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Although a significant recovery of the platelet count was observed in survivors, a recovery did not occur in nonsurvivors (p = 0.0001). After adjusting for suspected confounders, moderate, severe, and very severe thrombocytopenia were independently associated with 90-day mortality. The highest risk was associated with severe (hazard ratio, 5.9 [2.7-12.6]; p < 0.0001) and very severe thrombocytopenia (hazard ratio, 25.9 [10.7-62.9], p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: Thrombocytopenia is an independent risk factor for poor outcome in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients after cardiac surgery, with persistent severe thrombocytopenia likely reflecting a high degree of physiologic imbalance.

Complications associated with prolonged hypertonic saline therapy in children with elevated intracranial pressure. (Krohn)

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2013 Jul;14(6):610-20. PMID: 23823197

OBJECTIVES: Safe upper limits for therapeutic hypernatremia in the treatment of intracranial hypertension have not been well established. We investigated complications associated with hypernatremia in children who were treated with prolonged infusions of hypertonic saline.

DESIGN: Retrospective chart analysis.

SETTING: PICU in university-affiliated children’s hospital.

PATIENTS: All children from 2004 to 2009 requiring intracranial pressure monitoring (external ventricular drain or fiberoptic intraparenchymal monitor) for at least 4 days who were treated with hypertonic saline infusion for elevated intracranial pressure and did not meet exclusion criteria.

INTERVENTION: Continuous hypertonic saline infusion on a sliding scale was used to achieve target sodium levels that would keep intracranial pressure less than 20 mm Hg once the conventional therapies failed.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Eighty-eight children met inclusion criteria. Etiologies of elevated intracranial pressure included trauma (n = 48), ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke (n = 20), infection (n = 8), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (n = 5), neoplasm (n = 2), and others (n = 5). The mean peak serum sodium was 171.3 mEq/L (range, 150-202). The mean Glasgow Outcome Score was 2.8 (± 1.1) at time of discharge from the hospital. Overall mortality was 15.9%. Children with sustained (> 72 hr) serum sodium levels above 170 mEq/L had a significantly higher occurrence of thrombocytopenia (p < 0.001), renal failure (p < 0.001), neutropenia (p = 0.006), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (p = 0.029) after controlling for variables of age, gender, Pediatric Risk of Mortality score, duration of barbiturate-induced coma, duration of intracranial pressure monitoring, vasopressor requirements, and underlying pathology. Children with sustained serum sodium levels greater than 165 mEq/L had a significantly higher prevalence of anemia (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Children treated by continuous hypertonic saline infusion for intracranial hypertension whose serum sodium levels exceeded certain thresholds experienced significantly more events of acute renal failure, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, anemia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome than those whose sodium level was maintained below these thresholds.

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