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Citation Information : Immunohematology. Volume 11, Issue 4, Pages 143-149, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/immunohematology-2019-806
License : (Transfer of Copyright)
Published Online: 17-November-2020
Many drugs have been reported to cause drug-dependent thrombocytopenia, either by the immune complex or by hapten mechanisms. Testing for the presence of these platelet antibodies has not been considered feasible for transfusion services because their presence was thought to be rare, and their detection involved complex and costly methods. We have developed a new technique for detection of these antibodies that can be performed without the need for specialized and expensive instrumentation. A solid-phase red cell adherence assay was used to detect drug-dependent platelet antibodies active by either the immune complex or the hapten mechanism. Three cases were evaluated for the presence of drug-dependent platelet antibodies. Two patients presented with thrombocytopenia that could not be attributed to other causes. The third case was evaluated for the presence of drug-dependent antibodies after poor responses to platelet transfusions. In these three cases, discontinuation of the implicated drugs, i.e., porcine heparin, quinine sulfate, amoxicillin, BactrimTM, and albuterol, was followed by a correction of thrombocytopenia or improved platelet transfusion response within 72 hours. This test methodology and protocol has proven very useful in avoiding transfusions with little likelihood of benefit, and in identifying drugs interfering with platelet recovery or survival. Further investigations with this technique may expand our knowledge of the capability of this technique and of the observed frequency of drug-related immunologic platelet destruction.