Comparison of the measurement of surface or total platelet-associated IgG in the diagnosis of immune thrombocytopenia
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Platelet-associated IgG (PAIgG) can be measured on intact platelets or following platelet lysis. Measurement of PAIgG following platelet lysis may provide different or additional information compared to PAIgG measured on intact platelets. The PAIgG of lysed platelets represents "total" PAIgG, ie, IgG on the surface of platelets plus any IgG that was inside the platelet. To investigate the clinical relevance of the two types of PAIgG assay we performed a prospective study on washed platelets collected from 47 patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). The PAIgG was measured on intact and lysed platelets using an immunoradiometric assay. Platelet-associated IgG was 2-3 times higher when measured on lysed platelets from healthy controls or patients with ITP compared to PAIgG measured on the same intact platelets. The higher level of PAIgG observed following platelet lysis was not due to the reactions not achieving equilibrium. Using lysed platelets, PAIgG was elevated on 29 of 47 samples from different ITP patients and elevated in 31 samples when measured on intact platelets. The PAIgG is invariably higher when measured following platelet lysis compared measurements made on intact platelets. Neither technique offers a diagnostic advantage over the other.
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