J Appl Lab Med 2020 Sep 30. Epub 2020 Sep 30.
Department of Pathology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA.
Introduction: When monitoring heparin, anti-Xa assays are susceptible to interference from apixaban taken before admission and can result in inappropriate dose adjustments that can negatively affect patient care.
Methods: We derived a novel assay, termed corrected heparin (CH), using quantified values from a chromogenic anti-Xa assay with heparin calibrators before and after heparinase treatment to eliminate any interference from apixaban within the patient sample. We retrospectively assessed 469 specimens from 72 patients at our institution who had their unfractionated heparin infusion monitored using the CH assay because of known apixaban use. These patients were included in the study if they had detectable apixaban levels (>0.1 IU/mL by anti-Xa).
Results: The analytical performance of the assay was evaluated, and precision was found to be 8.8% within 1 day and 13.3% over multiple days, with acceptable linearity (R2 = 0.997). Evaluation of clinical performance was compared with the partial thromboplastin time (PTT), showing a lack of correlation similar to comparisons between the PTT and anti-Xa assay (Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis 1993;4:635-8). The mean time to a therapeutic result in this cohort was 10 hours and 10 minutes. The CH assay was used to determine how long the apixaban was detected by the anti-Xa assay. The majority of patients (80%) still had measurable anti-Xa assay interference from apixaban at 24 hours after the last apixaban dose.
Conclusions: We have developed and evaluated an assay capable of quantifying heparin in the presence of apixaban. This assay showed acceptable performance in both analytical and clinical performance.