alexa Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia and Cardiac Surgery: A
ISSN: 2155-9864

Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion
Open Access

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Review Article

Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia and Cardiac Surgery: A Comprehensive Review

Jeremy Steele1, Bernard Kadosh1, Iosif M. Gulkarov2 and Arash Salemi3*

1Ross University School of Medicine, New York Methodist Hospital, 506 6th Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11215

2Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Methodist Hospital, 506 6th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11215

3Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY

Corresponding Author:
Arash Salemi
New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical College
525 East 68th Street M-404
New York, New York 10065
Tel: (212) 746-5873
Fax: (212) 746-8388
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: November 05, 2011; Accepted Date: December 12, 2011; Published Date: December 20, 2011

Citation: Steele J, Kadosh B, Gulkarov IM, Salemi A (2011) Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia and Cardiac Surgery: A Comprehensive Review. J Blood Disord Transfus S2:003. doi:10.4172/2155-9864.S2-003

Copyright: © 2011 Steele J, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Heparin induced thrombocytopenia presents as an underdiagnosed condition with life threatening thrombotic complications. The incidence in cardiac surgery patients is dependent on several factors and appeared to be greater in procedures that involve the use of intraaortic balloon pump. Clinical diagnosis is particularly challenging in cardiac surgery patients due to the natural occurrence of post-operative thrombocytopenia. High index of suspicion is key factor to establish adequate treatment and prevent the occurrence of thrombotic complications, such as saphenous vein graft occlusion, pulmonary embolism and myocardial infarction, which lead to substantially increased mortality rates. The 4T’s assessment point system was designed in order to evaluate the likelihood of occurrence of the condition based on clinical presentation; however, serotonin release assay represents the gold standard to reach diagnosis. Treatment of heparin induced thrombocytopenia involves cessation of unfractionated and fractionated heparin, and the instauration of therapy with direct thrombin inhibitors. Among all direct thrombin inhibitors agents, Bivaluridin is emerging as a potential first line of treatment based on its benefits of a short half-life and enzymatic elimination.

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