Background: Antibodies to complexes of heparin and platelet factor 4 (PF4) are capable of causing heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). Recent evidence suggests that anti-PF4/heparin antibodies may be prothrombogenic even in the absence of thrombocytopenia and clinically-recognized HIT. Objectives: To determine if induction of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies is an independent risk factor for early saphenous vein graft (SVG) occlusion or adverse clinical outcome after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Patients/Methods: Anti-PF4/heparin antibody titers were measured in 368 patients prior to and then 4 days, 6weeks and 6months after CABG surgery. Serotonin release assay (SRA) and antibody isotype analysis were also performed on 6-week samples. SVG patency was determined in 297 patients 6 months after surgery by multidetector computed tomography coronary angiography. Results: Six weeks after surgery, 52% of patients were anti-PF4/heparin seropositive and 9% were SRA positive. Six months after surgery, neither the percentage of occluded SVG (19% vs. 20%, P = NS), the percentage of patients with an occluded SVG (33% vs. 33%;, P = NS) nor the incidence of adverse clinical events (21% vs. 24%, P = NS) differed between seropositive and seronegative groups. Neither IgG isotype nor SRA positivity was additionally predictive of SVG occlusion or adverse clinical outcome. Conclusion: Induction of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies, even those capable of heparin-dependent platelet activation, is not independently associated with early SVG occlusion or adverse clinical outcomes after CABG surgery.
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