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Thromb Haemost. 1992 Jun 1;67(6):639-43.

Heparin binding to plasma proteins, an important mechanism for heparin resistance.

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Department of Pathology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.


Heparin dosage requirements vary widely among patients with venous thromboembolism. In this study, we measured the proportion of anticoagulantly-active heparin which was reversibly bound and neutralized by plasma proteins (defined as reversible heparin neutralization) in the pre-treatment plasma (in vitro) and in the 6 h post-treatment plasma (ex vivo) of patients with venous thromboembolism treated with a fixed dose of heparin. Reversible heparin neutralization was assessed by comparing the heparin levels measured as anti-factor Xa activity before and after the addition of low affinity heparin which is essentially devoid of anti-factor Xa activity, in order to displace heparin bound to plasma proteins. The results indicate that reversible heparin neutralization due to binding to plasma proteins is a major determinant of the anticoagulant response to a fixed dose of standard heparin 6 h post-treatment and of the eventual heparin dose required to achieve a therapeutic anticoagulant effect on days 3-5 of heparin treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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