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1.
Semin Hematol ; 59(2): 80-88, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882785

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a highly prothrombotic disorder that like heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is caused by platelet-activating antibodies that recognize platelet factor 4 (PF4). However, unlike HIT-where heparin at low concentrations (0.1-0.5 U/mL) typically enhances antibody-induced platelet activation, platelet activation by VITT sera is usually inhibited by heparin. Further, conventional platelet activation assays for HIT, such as the serotonin-release assay (SRA) and heparin-induced platelet activation (HIPA) test, often yield negative or atypical results when testing VITT sera. Nevertheless, VITT (like HIT) is a "clinical-pathological" disorder whereby laboratory detectability of platelet-activating anti-PF4 antibodies is crucial for diagnosis. VITT antibodies follow 2 fundamental principles of HIT laboratory testing: (1) high probability of a positive PF4-dependent enzyme-immunoassay (EIA), and (2) high probability of a positive platelet activation assay. However, optimal detection of VITT in platelet activation assays requires the addition of PF4, for example, PF4-enhanced SRA (PF4-SRA) and PF4-enhanced HIPA (PIPA). A novel whole blood assay, called the PF4-induced flow cytometry-based platelet activation (PIFPA) assay, exhibits high sensitivity and specificity for VITT. HIT and VITT sera/plasmas differ in their reactivity in rapid HIT immunoassays (90-97% sensitivity for HIT, <25% sensitivity for VITT), consistent with distinct antigen sites on PF4 recognized by HIT and VITT antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic , Vaccines , Antibodies/analysis , Heparin/adverse effects , Humans , Platelet Factor 4 , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/chemically induced , Vaccines/adverse effects
3.
Semin Hematol ; 59(2): 89-96, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788341

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a novel prothrombotic disorder characterized by thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation identified in hundreds of recipients of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford/AstraZeneca), an adenovirus vector coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. VITT resembles heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) in that patients have platelet-activating anti-platelet factor 4 antibodies; however, whereas heparin typically enhances platelet activation by HIT antibodies, VITT antibody-induced platelet activation is often inhibited in vitro by pharmacological concentrations of heparin. Further, the thrombotic complications in VITT feature much higher frequencies of atypical thrombosis, most notably cerebral vein thrombosis and splanchnic vein thrombosis, compared with HIT. In this review, we outline the treatments that have been used to manage this novel condition since its recognition in March 2021, including anticoagulation, high-dose intravenous immune globulin, therapeutic plasma exchange, corticosteroids, rituximab, and eculizumab. We discuss the controversial issue of whether heparin, which often inhibits VITT antibody-induced platelet activation, is harmful in the treatment of VITT. We also describe a case of "long VITT," describing the treatment challenges resulting from platelet-activating anti-PF4 antibodies that persisted for more than 9 months.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic , Thrombosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Heparin/adverse effects , Humans , Platelet Factor 4 , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/chemically induced , Thrombosis/chemically induced
5.
Seminars in hematology ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1728167

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a novel prothrombotic disorder characterized by thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation identified in hundreds of recipients of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford/AstraZeneca), an adenovirus vector coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. VITT resembles heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) in that patients have platelet-activating anti-platelet factor 4 antibodies;however, whereas heparin typically enhances platelet activation by HIT antibodies, VITT antibody-induced platelet activation is often inhibited in vitro by pharmacological concentrations of heparin. Further, the thrombotic complications in VITT feature much higher frequencies of atypical thrombosis, most notably cerebral vein thrombosis and splanchnic vein thrombosis, compared with HIT. In this review, we outline the treatments that have been used to manage this novel condition since its recognition in March 2021, including anticoagulation, high-dose intravenous immune globulin, therapeutic plasma exchange, corticosteroids, rituximab, and eculizumab. We discuss the controversial issue of whether heparin, which often inhibits VITT antibody-induced platelet activation, is harmful in the treatment of VITT. We also describe a case of “long VITT”, describing the treatment challenges resulting from platelet-activating anti-PF4 antibodies that persisted for more than 9 months.

7.
Crit Care Med ; 50(1): e94-e95, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1584015
8.
Crit Care Med ; 50(1): e80-e86, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574590

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia is an unexpected consequence of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic era. We reviewed the pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of this rare side effect. DATA SOURCES: Online search of published medical literature through PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar using the terms "COVID-19," "vaccine," "thrombosis" was performed. STUDY SELECTION: Articles were chosen for inclusion based on their relevance to coronavirus disease 2019, vaccine, and thrombosis. DATA SYNTHESIS: Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia manifests most often as unusual thromboses (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, splanchnic vein thrombosis) but sometimes also "usual" thromboses (arterial stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep-vein thrombosis), with oftentimes severe thrombocytopenia, that becomes clinically evident 5-30 days after adenovirus-vectored coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine administration. Most patients have disseminated intravascular coagulation. These features are the result of vaccine-triggered formation of anti-platelet factor 4 immunoglobulin G that activate platelets, clinically mimicking autoimmune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Early recognition based on thrombosis (sometimes, hemorrhage), thrombocytopenia, and d-dimer elevation within the day 5-30 postvaccine "window" is important given treatment with high-dose IV immunoglobulin plus nonheparin anticoagulation. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia is a serious complication of vaccination that is not feasible to anticipate or prevent. When the patient presents with sustained headache, neurologic symptoms/signs, abdominal pain, dyspnea, or limb pain/swelling beginning 5-30 days post vaccination, platelet count and d-dimer must be measured, and imaging for thrombosis performed. Confirmation of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia diagnosis should be ordered (platelet factor 4/polyanion enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; platelet factor 4-enhanced platelet activation testing) as treatment is initiated (nonheparin anticoagulation, IV immunoglobulin).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Thrombosis/chemically induced , Age Factors , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Thrombocytopenia/immunology , Thrombosis/immunology
10.
J Thromb Haemost ; 20(1): 149-156, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483925

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a rare but severe immunological reaction to the non-replicable adenoviral vector-based COVID-19 vaccines. Extreme activation of platelets and the coagulation system leads to a high risk of death from venous or arterial thrombosis or secondary hemorrhage. Public and clinician awareness has reduced mortality of VITT by nearly 90%. The World Health Organization provided a guideline in July 2021 on diagnosis and management of VITT (also called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS). Since July 2021, new, clinically relevant information has become available. This update has been summarized by the authors in an informal process with recommendations for low resource environments. We provide new available evidence on VITT to empower clinicians to recognize VITT early, then effectively diagnose and treat the disorder to reduce morbidity and mortality. We strongly encourage production of clear management pathways for primary care settings and hospital settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombocytopenia , Thrombosis , Vaccines , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Thrombocytopenia/diagnosis , Thrombocytopenia/therapy
12.
Blood ; 138(22): 2256-2268, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443788

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) causes a thromboembolic complication termed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Using biophysical techniques, mouse models, and analysis of VITT patient samples, we identified determinants of this vaccine-induced adverse reaction. Super-resolution microscopy visualized vaccine components forming antigenic complexes with platelet factor 4 (PF4) on platelet surfaces to which anti-PF4 antibodies obtained from VITT patients bound. PF4/vaccine complex formation was charge-driven and increased by addition of DNA. Proteomics identified substantial amounts of virus production-derived T-REx HEK293 proteins in the ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-containing vaccine. Injected vaccine increased vascular leakage in mice, leading to systemic dissemination of vaccine components known to stimulate immune responses. Together, PF4/vaccine complex formation and the vaccine-stimulated proinflammatory milieu trigger a pronounced B-cell response that results in the formation of high-avidity anti-PF4 antibodies in VITT patients. The resulting high-titer anti-PF4 antibodies potently activated platelets in the presence of PF4 or DNA and polyphosphate polyanions. Anti-PF4 VITT patient antibodies also stimulated neutrophils to release neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in a platelet PF4-dependent manner. Biomarkers of procoagulant NETs were elevated in VITT patient serum, and NETs were visualized in abundance by immunohistochemistry in cerebral vein thrombi obtained from VITT patients. Together, vaccine-induced PF4/adenovirus aggregates and proinflammatory reactions stimulate pathologic anti-PF4 antibody production that drives thrombosis in VITT. The data support a 2-step mechanism underlying VITT that resembles the pathogenesis of (autoimmune) heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.


Subject(s)
Antigen-Antibody Complex/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Capsid Proteins/adverse effects , Drug Contamination , Genetic Vectors/adverse effects , HEK293 Cells/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/adverse effects , Adenoviridae/immunology , Animals , Antigen-Antibody Complex/ultrastructure , Autoantibodies/biosynthesis , Capillary Leak Syndrome/etiology , Capsid Proteins/immunology , Cell Line, Transformed , /immunology , Dynamic Light Scattering , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials/etiology , Genetic Vectors/immunology , HEK293 Cells/chemistry , Humans , Imaging, Three-Dimensional , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Inflammation , Mice , Microscopy/methods , Platelet Activation , Proteomics , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/blood , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/diagnostic imaging , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Cultivation
13.
Thromb Res ; 207: 62-65, 2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415806
16.
Blood ; 138(14): 1269-1277, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317119

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a severe adverse effect of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 COVID-19 vaccine (Vaxzevria) and Janssen Ad26.COV2.S COVID-19 vaccine, and it is associated with unusual thrombosis. VITT is caused by anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies activating platelets through their FcγRIIa receptors. Antibodies that activate platelets through FcγRIIa receptors have also been identified in patients with COVID-19. These findings raise concern that vaccination-induced antibodies against anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein cause thrombosis by cross-reacting with PF4. Immunogenic epitopes of PF4 and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were compared using in silico prediction tools and 3D modeling. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and PF4 share at least 1 similar epitope. Reactivity of purified anti-PF4 antibodies from patients with VITT was tested against recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. However, none of the affinity-purified anti-PF4 antibodies from 14 patients with VITT cross-reacted with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Sera from 222 polymerase chain reaction-confirmed patients with COVID-19 from 5 European centers were tested by PF4-heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and PF4-dependent platelet activation assays. We found anti-PF4 antibodies in sera from 19 (8.6%) of 222 patients with COVID-19. However, only 4 showed weak to moderate platelet activation in the presence of PF4, and none of those patients developed thrombotic complications. Among 10 (4.5%) of 222 patients who had COVID-19 with thrombosis, none showed PF4-dependent platelet-activating antibodies. In conclusion, antibodies against PF4 induced by vaccination do not cross-react with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, indicating that the intended vaccine-induced immune response against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is not the trigger of VITT. PF4-reactive antibodies found in patients with COVID-19 in this study were not associated with thrombotic complications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Cross Reactions/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blood Platelets/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Epitopes/immunology , Female , Heparin/metabolism , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Young Adult
17.
Thromb Res ; 204: 40-51, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275736

ABSTRACT

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is characterized clinically by thrombocytopenia, hypercoagulability, and increased thrombosis risk, and serologically by platelet-activating anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin antibodies. Heparin-"induced" acknowledges that HIT is usually triggered by a proximate immunizing exposure to heparin. However, certain non-heparin medications (pentosan polysulfate, hypersulfated chondroitin sulfate, fondaparinux) can trigger "HIT". Further, naturally-occurring polyanions (bacterial lipopolysaccharide, DNA/RNA) can interact with PF4 to recapitulate HIT antigens. Indeed, immunologic presensitization to naturally-occurring polyanions could explain why HIT more closely resembles a secondary, rather than a primary, immune response. In 2008 it was first reported that a HIT-mimicking disorder can occur without any preceding exposure to heparin or polyanionic medications. Termed "spontaneous HIT syndrome", two subtypes are recognized: (a) surgical (post-orthopedic, especially post-total knee arthroplasty, and (b) medical (usually post-infectious). Recently, COVID-19 adenoviral vector vaccination has been associated with a thrombotic thrombocytopenic disorder associated with positive PF4-dependent enzyme-immunoassays and serum-induced platelet activation that is maximal when PF4 is added. Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) features unusual thromboses (cerebral venous thrombosis, splanchnic vein thrombosis) similar to those seen in spontaneous HIT syndrome. The emerging concept is that classic HIT reflects platelet-activating anti-PF4/heparin antibodies whereas spontaneous HIT syndrome and other atypical "autoimmune HIT" presentations (delayed-onset HIT, persisting HIT, heparin "flush" HIT) reflect heparin-independent platelet-activating anti-PF4 antibodies-although the precise relationships between PF4 epitope targets and the clinical syndromes remain to be determined. Treatment of spontaneous HIT syndrome includes non-heparin anticoagulation (direct oral Xa inhibitors favored over direct thrombin inhibitors) and high-dose immunoglobulin.


Subject(s)
Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee , COVID-19 , Thrombocytopenia , Thrombosis , Vaccines , Anticoagulants , Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/adverse effects , Heparin/adverse effects , Humans , Platelet Factor 4 , SARS-CoV-2 , Syndrome , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced
18.
N Engl J Med ; 385(8): 720-728, 2021 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262030

ABSTRACT

The use of high-dose intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) plus anticoagulation is recommended for the treatment of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), a rare side effect of adenoviral vector vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). We describe the response to IVIG therapy in three of the first patients in whom VITT was identified in Canada after the receipt of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. The patients were between the ages of 63 and 72 years; one was female. At the time of this report, Canada had restricted the use of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine to persons who were 55 years of age or older on the basis of reports that VITT had occurred primarily in younger persons. Two of the patients in our study presented with limb-artery thrombosis; the third had cerebral venous and arterial thrombosis. Variable patterns of serum-induced platelet activation were observed in response to heparin and platelet factor 4 (PF4), indicating the heterogeneity of the manifestations of VITT in serum. After the initiation of IVIG, reduced antibody-induced platelet activation in serum was seen in all three patients. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous , Thrombocytopenia/therapy , Thrombosis/therapy , Aged , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Fibrinogen/analysis , Heparin/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Platelet Count , Platelet Factor 4/pharmacology , Serotonin/blood , Thrombocytopenia/blood , Thrombocytopenia/etiology , Thrombosis/etiology , Thrombosis/immunology
20.
Blood ; 138(4): 299-303, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228983

ABSTRACT

Vaccination using the adenoviral vector COVID-19 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) has been associated with rare vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Affected patients test strongly positive in platelet factor 4 (PF4)/polyanion enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), and serum-induced platelet activation is maximal in the presence of PF4. We determined the frequency of anti-PF4/polyanion antibodies in healthy vaccinees and assessed whether PF4/polyanion EIA+ sera exhibit platelet-activating properties after vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (n = 138) or BNT162b2 (BioNTech/Pfizer; n = 143). In total, 19 of 281 participants tested positive for anti-PF4/polyanion antibodies postvaccination (All: 6.8% [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.4-10.3]; BNT162b2: 5.6% [95% CI, 2.9-10.7]; ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 8.0% [95% CI, 4.5% to 13.7%]). Optical densities were mostly low (between 0.5 and 1.0 units; reference range, <0.50), and none of the PF4/polyanion EIA+ samples induced platelet activation in the presence of PF4. We conclude that positive PF4/polyanion EIAs can occur after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccination with both messenger RNA- and adenoviral vector-based vaccines, but many of these antibodies likely have minor (if any) clinical relevance. Accordingly, low-titer positive PF4/polyanion EIA results should be interpreted with caution when screening asymptomatic individuals after vaccination against COVID-19. Pathogenic platelet-activating antibodies that cause VITT do not occur commonly following vaccination.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Polyelectrolytes , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/etiology , Vaccination/adverse effects , Adult , Asymptomatic Diseases , Autoantibodies/blood , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Platelet Activation , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/immunology , Seroconversion , Thrombophilia/etiology
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