Catastrophic Complications of Intravenous Line Flushing with Unfractionated Heparin
Giuseppe Colucci, Maximilian Jahns, Tobias Silzle, Lorenzo Alberio
DOI: 10.4236/ijcm.2012.31007   PDF    HTML   XML   5,221 Downloads   9,918 Views  


Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a clinicopathologic syndrome because diagnosis is based on both clinical symptoms and laboratory data. We report a patient with multiple thromboembolic complications after daily flushing of intravenous line with small amounts of unfractionated heparin (UFH). At day 7 bilateral hemorrhagic infarction of the adrenal glands was misdiagnosed as adrenal adenoma. On day 10 thrombocytopenia was noted and the next day a myocardial infarction complicated by a left ventricular thrombus was diagnosed. On day 12, HIT was suspected. The pre-test probability for HIT according to the 4T-score was high (8/8 points) and detection of antibodies directed against the PF4/heparin-complex by particle gel immunoassay (Titer 1:1024) and ELISA (O.D. 2.784) was strongly positive. HIT can be induced by iv-line flushes with UFH. Arterial and venous thrombotic complications can be present before a clear platelet drop can be recognised.

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G. Colucci, M. Jahns, T. Silzle and L. Alberio, "Catastrophic Complications of Intravenous Line Flushing with Unfractionated Heparin," International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2012, pp. 36-39. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2012.31007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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