Direct thrombin inhibitors and factor Xa inhibitors can influence the diluted prothrombin time used as the initial screen for lupus anticoagulant

Zsolt Olah, Mariann Szarvas, Zsuzsanna Bereczky, Adrienne Kerenyi, Janos Kappelmayer, Zoltan Boda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Context. - Lupus anticoagulant (LA) is a heterogeneous group of antiphospholipid antibodies. Among others, diluted prothrombin time (dPT) is a sensitive screening test for LA; however, the interpretation of LA tests is difficult in patients treated with anticoagulants. The effect of different types of anticoagulants on the result of LA tests, particularly on dPT, has not been studied extensively. Objective. - To determine whether the direct thrombin inhibitors lepirudin and argatroban and the predominantly factor Xa inhibitors enoxaparin, danaparoid, and fondaparinux could interfere with LA screening based on dPT. Design. - Each drug was added to normal and LA-positive plasmas in clinically relevant concentrations. Each sample was tested for dPT. Samples with factor Xa inhibitors were investigated before and after addition of heparinase. Mixing and confirmatory tests for LA were not performed. Results. - In the presence of lepirudin or argatroban, dPT increased notably and the dPT ratio exceeded the cutoff value even at subtherapeutic concentrations resulting in false positivity. With increasing factor Xa inhibitor concentrations, a linear increase of dPT ratios and false-positive results were also demonstrated. Although heparinase could almost completely neutralize the anti-Xa effect of all investigated factor Xa inhibitors, dPT ratio returned to the basal level only in case of enoxaparin. Conclusions. - Here we provide evidence that both the direct thrombin and indirect factor Xa inhibitors influence dPT assay for LA, causing false positivity. This should be considered when interpreting LA results during anticoagulant therapy. However, dPT seems to be a reliable test for LA screening under enoxaparin therapy after neutralization by heparinase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-973
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

Cite this