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2021 May 10

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg

Pseudo heparin resistance after pulmonary endarterectomy: Role of thrombus production of Factor VIII.


Nykänen AI, Selby R, McRae KM, Zhao Y, Asghar UM, Donahoe L, Granton J, de Perrot M
Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 May 10.
PMID: 33984481.


Pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) is the main treatment for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Postoperative unfractionated heparin dosing can be monitored by activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) or by anti-factor Xa activity (anti-Xa). In pseudo heparin resistance, APTT response to heparin is blunted due to elevated Factor VIII (FVIII) which can underestimate anticoagulation. We examined possible pseudo heparin resistance after PEA and assessed the impact of FVIII. APTT response to heparin before and after operation was determined in 13 PEA patients anticoagulated with unfractionated heparin. APTT and anti-Xa concordance was analyzed from paired postoperative samples, and antithrombin, fibrinogen and FVIII levels were measured. Single-cell RNA sequencing was used to characterize FVIII gene expression in PEA specimens of 5 patients. APTT response to heparin was blunted after PEA. APTT and anti-Xa were discordant in 36% of postoperative samples and most common discordant patterns were subtherapeutic APTT with therapeutic (16%) or supratherapeutic (11%) anti-Xa. Overall, APTT underestimated anticoagulation relative to anti-Xa in one-third of the samples. FVIII levels were elevated before surgery, increased substantially 1 and 3 days (median 4.32 IU/mL) after PEA, and were higher in discordant than concordant samples. Single-cell RNA sequencing showed FVIII gene expression in PEA specimen endothelial cells. Pseudo heparin resistance is common after PEA likely due to highly elevated postoperative FVIII levels indicating that anti-Xa reflects postoperative heparinization better than APTT in these patients. FVIII production by the pulmonary artery endothelium may participate in local prothrombotic processes important for CTEPH pathogenesis.