Argatroban in the management of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Luciano Babuin, Vittorio Pengo
Clinical Cardiology, Department of Cardiac Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
Abstract: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an immunoglobulin-mediated serious complication of heparin therapy characterized by thrombocytopenia and high risk for venous and arterial thrombosis: HIT and thrombosis syndrome (HITTS). Argatroban, a direct thrombin inhibitor, is indicated as the anticoagulant for the treatment and prophylaxis of thrombosis in patients with HIT and in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) who have HIT. The aim of this review is to examine the pharmacological characteristics and the clinical efficacy and safety of this drug in adults with HIT, including those undergoing PCI. Briefly, 2 prospective multicenter, nonrandomized, open-label studies evaluated the efficacy and safety of argatroban as an anticoagulant in patients with HIT or HITTS. Both studies showed that the incidence of the primary efficacy end point, a composite of all-cause death, all-cause amputation, or new thrombosis, was reduced in argatroban-treated patients vs control subjects with HIT or HITTS. In both studies, bleeding rates were similar between the groups. Argatroban was evaluated as the anticoagulant therapy in 3 prospective, multicenter, open-label studies in HIT patients who underwent PCI. The studies were similar in design with respect to patient inclusion and exclusion criteria, the argatroban dosing regimen, and primary efficacy outcomes. The investigators performed a pooled analysis of these studies, which showed that most (≥95%) patients achieved a satisfactory outcome from the procedure and adequate anticoagulation (coprimary end points).
Keywords: argatroban, thrombocytopenia, thrombosis
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