Therapeutic plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin in the treatment of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia: A systematic review

Department of Pediatrics, East Carolina University, Vidant Medical Center, Greenville, North Carolina, USA. Medical Center Library, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA. Department of Pediatrics and Pathology, George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA. Department of Coagulation, Quest Diagnostics, Nichols Institute, Centreville, Virginia, USA. Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. Department of Medicine, Vitalant Northeast Division and The University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Kentucky Health Care, Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Transfusion. 2020
Abstract
BACKGROUND Immunomodulatory strategies in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) include the use of intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) and therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE). The optimal application of these therapies is unknown and outcomes data are limited. We investigated treatment categories and laboratory and clinical outcomes of IVIG and/or TPE in HIT with a systematic literature review. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science through December 2019 for studies combining controlled vocabulary and keywords related to thrombocytopenia, heparin, TPE, and IVIG. The primary outcome was treatment indication. Secondary outcomes were platelet recovery, HIT laboratory parameters, heparin re-exposure, and post-treatment course. Case-level data were analyzed by qualitative synthesis. RESULTS After 4241 references were screened, we identified 60 studies with four main categories of IVIG and/or TPE use as follows: (a) treatment of refractory HIT (n = 35; 31%); (b) initial therapy (n = 45; 40%); (c) cardiopulmonary bypass surgery (CPB; n = 30; 27%); and (d) other (n = 2; 2%). IVIG was most commonly used for the treatment of refractory HIT while TPE was primarily used to facilitate heparin exposure during CPB. Both IVIG and TPE were equally used as initial therapy. Heparin re-exposure occurred without thrombotic event in 29 TPE-treated patients and three IVIG-treated patients. CONCLUSION In patients with HIT, both TPE and IVIG are used for initial therapy or treatment of refractory HIT. However, TPE is more commonly used in patients undergoing CPB. Prospective studies may help clarify which treatment is indicated in HIT population subsets.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine