Heparin-Induced Platelet Antibody

Test ID: 


CPT code:



Heparin-induced Platelet Antibody (HIPA)
Heparin-associated Thrombocytopenia Antibody (HATA)
Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia Antibody (HITA)
Heparin-induced Thromocytopenia (HIT)

Clinical Use:

Assist in the diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia

Test Information:

HIPA results should not be the sole basis for establishing the diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Some patients with HIPA will not develop symptoms of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). Microbial contamination, lipemia, icterus, or hemolysis may interfere with this test and immune complexes or immunoglobulin aggregates in the patient sample can produce false-positive results. Heparin in the sample (>1 unit/mL) can produce false-negative results.
HIT, also referred to as heparin-associated thrombocytopenia (HAT), occurs in 1% to 5% of patients treated with standard unfractionated heparin.1-3 The most common form of HIT presents as a mild thrombocytopenia one to five days after initiation of heparin therapy. Type I HIT is not thought to be immune in etiology and may be mediated by a direct interaction between heparin and circulating platelets, causing platelet clumping or sequestration. This type of heparin-associated thrombocytopenia often occurs in patients on their first exposure to heparin.1 In this condition, platelet counts typically normalize within a few days, regardless of whether or not heparin therapy is continued.
Type II HIT is a much more clinically-significant, immune-mediated response to heparin that is frequently associated with the production of HIPA. Type II HIT can be associated with severe thrombosis, with the platelet count decreasing typically by 50%. The thrombocytopenia typically begins later than that of type I HIT, usually occurring some 5 to 10 days after the initiation of heparin therapy in patients who had never been previously exposed to heparin. Patients with prior exposure to heparin can develop thrombocytopenia more quickly on re-exposure due to earlier sensitization. In type II HIT, heparin is thought to bind to platelet factor 4, be found on platelets and endothelial cells, and to produce a conformational change, exposing antigenic sites for antibody formation.2 These antibodies bind to the heparin-PF4 complex and can activate platelets, resulting in the formation of microparticles and thrombin generation, with subsequent production of potentially severe venous or arterial thrombosis. Heparin treatment should be stopped and alternative anticoagulation considered in patients who develop type II HIT.1,2
Like other serologic (EIA based) assays, this assay has a high negative predictive value and only a moderate positive predictive value for HIT.4 Recent studies have shown that the magnitude (optical density, OD) of the result relative to the cutoff of 0.4 OD can provide useful information regarding the probability of developing HIT.4-8 The likelihood of developing HIT is significantly higher when the OD is >2.0 than when the OD is closer to the cutoff.4-8 One recent study revealed that patients with negative results just below the cutoff of 0.4 OD have a high probability of having positive results on repeat testing a few days later.9

Specimen Type:

Serum, frozen

Requested Volume: 

2 mL

Minimum Volume: 

1 mL

Container Type: 

Red-top tube; do not use a gel-barrier tube.


Transfer serum to a plastic transport tube. To avoid delays in turnaround time when requesting multiple tests on frozen samples, please submit separate frozen specimens for each test requested.

Storage Instructions:


Rejection Criteria

Serum not separated from red cells; microbially contaminated, hemolyzed, lipemic, icteric, or heat-inactivated samples

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MCI Diagnostic

Providing top patient care with fast results. 

7018 South Utica Avenue

Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136

Hours of Operation

Mon – Sat: 7AM-11PM

Sun: 7AM-3PM

Government Contract

Mon – Sat: 7AM-11PM

Sun: 7AM-3PM


Mon – Sat: 7AM-11PM

Sun: 7AM-3PM

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