Thrombocytopenia, heparin-induced

Low blood platelet count as a result of the medication heparin. HIT (heparin induced thrombocytopenia) is caused by the body forming antibodies to Heparin when it is bound to a blood protein called platelet factor 4 (PF4). When the antibody binds to the combination of heparin and PF4 it activates platelets which bind together and form small clots in the blood vessels and the platelet count falls. If major clots develop in the blood vessels and block them- called thrombosis, then the condition becomes even more serious and is called HITT- Heparin induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis. Heparin is used to treat and prevent abnormal blood clotting. In the face of HIT or HITT other agents must be used for this purpose. Direct thrombin (a blood clotting factor) inhibitors may be used. An oral direct thrombin inhibitor is under investigation in HIT. It is unsafe to give the standard oral anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin) to patients with HIT until their platelet counts are over 150,000 as it can lead to warfarin induced skin necrosis (death of skin).Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia can be mild or serious and fatal.

Read Also:

  • Thrombocytopenic purpura, acute

    Acute thrombocytopenic purpura.

  • Thromboembolism

    Formation in a blood vessel of a clot (thrombus) that breaks loose and is carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel. The clot may plug a vessel in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), brain (stroke), gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, or leg. Thromboembolism is a significant cause of morbidity (disease) and mortality (death), especially in adults. […]

  • Thrombolytic agent

    A drug that is able to dissolve a clot (thrombus) and reopen an artery or vein. Thrombolytic agents may be used to treat a heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (clot in a deep leg vein), pulmonary embolism, and occlusion of a peripheral artery or indwelling catheter. All thrombolytic agents are serine proteases (they digest […]

  • Thrombophilia

    The tendency to form thromboses (blood clots in arteries and veins).

  • Thrombophlebitis

    Inflammation of a vein that occurs when a blood clot forms.

Disclaimer: Thrombocytopenia, heparin-induced definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.