- INTRODUCTION: HIT is caused by platelet-activating IgG that recognize multimolecular PF4/heparin complexes. HIT antibodies are generally detectable by PF4-dependent enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and by platelet serotonin-release assay (SRA) at the beginning of the HIT-related platelet count fall. We determined whether an automated immunoassay for HIT, the latex immunoturbidimetric assay (LIA), also detects antibodies early during the course of HIT. The LIA was also used to evaluate a patient with putative SRA-negative HIT. METHODS: We evaluated the timing and magnitude of LIA reactivity in serial plasma samples obtained from 19 SRA-positive patients (17 with abnormal platelet count changes indicating HIT; two with subclinical seroconversion) and one putative SRA-negative HIT patient, all obtained from patients who participated in a clinical trial of heparin thromboprophylaxis. We determined LIA status at the onset of the HIT-related platelet count fall. RESULTS: The LIA was positive in all 19 SRA-positive patients (median value, 7.3 U/mL [range, 1.2-35.5]; cutoff, 1.0 U/mL); for all 13 evaluable patients for whom an informative plasma sample was available at (or shortly before) the onset of the HIT-related platelet count fall, LIA reactivity was positive. Heterogeneity in seroconversion using the LIA was observed; some patients exhibited gradual increases in reactivity, whereas other patients showed rapid increase in reactivity over a few days. The single clinical trial patient who met clinical-pathological criteria for "SRA-negative HIT" tested LIA-positive. CONCLUSION: The LIA detects HIT antibodies at the beginning of the HIT-associated platelet count fall. The LIA was also positive in a patient with SRA-negative HIT.