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Presence of Direct Thrombin Inhibitors Can Affect the Results and Interpretation of Lupus Anticoagulant Testing

Jonathan R. Genzen MD, PhD, Jonathan L. Miller MD, PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/7RYUN5DRK4WCH3PM 586-593 First published online: 1 October 2005


In vitro experiments were conducted to determine whether the direct thrombin inhibitors argatroban and lepirudin can interfere with the results of lupus anticoagulant (LA) testing. Concentration-response curves were generated to calculate the concentration of anticoagulant that prolongs the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) to 75 seconds (2.5 times the baseline average). Corresponding concentrations of anticoagulant were added to plasma samples before running dilute Russell viper venom time (DRVVT) and LA-sensitive aPTT (PTT-LA) tests. Because the DRVVT test system contains an antiheparin agent, DRVVT results were not prolonged in the presence of heparin. With argatroban added to normal plasma samples, neither the DRVVT percent correction of ratio nor the DRVVT test/confirm ratio was elevated, but when added to LA-positive plasma, some false-negative results were observed. Lepirudin increased the DRVVT percent correction of ratio and the DRVVT test/confirm ratio into a range that could lead to false-positive identifications of LAs. In sharp contrast to the DRVVT test system, distinction between LA-positive and LA-negative plasma samples was maintained and possibly even enhanced in the platelet neutralization procedure correction phase of the PTT-LA test system.

Key Words:
  • Dilute Russell viper venom test
  • Lupus anticoagulant
  • Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome
  • Direct thrombin inhibitor
  • Platelet neutralization procedure
  • Heparin
  • Coumadin
  • Warfarin