Platelet-activating functional assay resolution in vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia: differential alignment to PF4 ELISA platforms

Christine S.M. Lee, Lisa J. Clarke, Geoffrey W. Kershaw, Ibrahim Tohidi-Esfahani, Timothy A. Brighton, Sanjeev Chunilal, Emmanuel J. Favaloro, Huyen Tran, Vivien M. Chen

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Background: Anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies in vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) appear to be transient, with discrepant persistence depending on the platform used for detection. Objectives: We aimed to report a longitudinal study of antibody persistence using 2 ELISA platforms and 2 platelet-activating functional assays in a clinical cohort of patients with VITT referred for follow-up testing. Methods: In total, 32 Australian patients with VITT or pre-VITT, confirmed by expert adjudication, with samples referred for clinical follow-up were included. Clinical follow-up assays, including Stago and Hyphen ELISAs, procoagulant platelet flow cytometry, and modified PF4-serotonin-release assay, were performed according to the pattern of reactivity for that patient at diagnosis. Results: The median follow-up was 24 weeks after diagnosis. A general decline in anti-PF4 antibody levels and platelet-activating capacity over time was observed with a more rapid median time to resolution of 16 weeks by functional assay vs 24 weeks by Stago ELISA. Decline in platelet-activating antibody levels detected by functional assays mirrored Stago ELISA titer but not Hyphen. However, 87% of patients received a documented second vaccination and 74% received an mRNA booster with no reported adverse events. Conclusion: Anti-PF4 antibodies persist longer than functional platelet-activating antibodies in VITT but do not warrant avoidance of subsequent vaccinations. Persistence detection is assay-dependent. Stago ELISA may be a surrogate where functional assays are unavailable for follow-up testing of confirmed patients with VITT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100128
JournalResearch and practice in thrombosis and haemostasis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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