The use of polybrene for heparin neutralization in protein C activity assay.

J. Harsfalvi, G. Pfliegler, M. Udvardy, Z. Boda, I. Tornai, K. Rak

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The protein C activity assay of Francis and Patch (Thromb Res 1983; 32: 605-613) is based on the prolongation of the activated partial thromboplastin time in the presence of activated protein C isolated from the test samples. The assay was modified and standardized by Rapaport et al. (Am J Clin Pathol 1987; 87: 491-497), but could still only be used in patients on heparin therapy after chromatographic removal of the heparin. In this study we attempted to eliminate the heparin separation step without losing the advantages of the modified (Rapaport) method. Heparin was added to the isolated protein C to obtain a rapid and complete antithrombin effect after the thrombin activation step and polybrene was subsequently used to neutralize the excess heparin. Using this modified assay protein C activity ranged from 67 to 133% in the normal population, and from 9 to 25% in coumarin-treated patients. Precision of the modified method was acceptable in both normal and pathological PC ranges: within- and between-batch variations were 5.6 and 3.6%, and 8 and 14%, respectively. The assay correlated well (r = 0.84) with the ELISA technique in both healthy donors and non-coumarin-treated patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-361
Number of pages5
JournalBlood coagulation & fibrinolysis : an international journal in haemostasis and thrombosis
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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