Unique features of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia; a new anti-platelet factor 4 antibody-mediated disorder Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a highly prothrombotic disorder caused by anti-PF4 antibodies that activate platelets and neutrophils, leading to thrombosis. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a related anti-PF4 mediated disorder, with similar pathophysiology and clinical manifestations but different triggers (i.e., heparin vs adenoviral vector vaccine). Clinically, both HIT and VITT typically present with thrombocytopenia and thrombosis, although the risk of thrombosis is significantly higher in VITT, and the thromboses occur in unusual anatomical sites (e.g., cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and hepatic vein thrombosis). The diagnostic accuracy of available laboratory testing differs between HIT and VITT; for VITT, ELISAs have better specificity compared to HIT and platelet activation assays require the addition of PF4. Treatment of VITT and HIT is anticoagulation non-heparin anticoagulants; however, heparin may be considered for VITT if no other option is available.


  • Venier, Laura M
  • Clerici, Bianca
  • Bissola, Anna-Lise
  • Modi, Dimpy
  • Jevtic, Stefan D
  • Radford, Michael
  • Mahamad, Syed
  • Nazy, Ishac
  • Arnold, Donald

publication date

  • March 2023