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In a recent prospective, blinded study, the novel Versiti PF4-dependent P-selectin expression assay (PEA) was found to be highly accurate for the diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a life-threatening, pro-thrombotic, antibody-mediated disorder that can cause blood clots, resulting in heart attacks, strokes and limb amputation.

Further results of the study, published in Blood, the American Society of Hematology’s research publication, stated that “… the PF4-dependent P-selectin Expression Assay (PEA), may provide an option for rapid and conclusive results,” and that “widespread use of the PEA may facilitate timely and more effective management of patients with suspected HIT.”

The study reinforces Versiti’s position that, compared to the popular Serotonin Release Assay (SRA), the PEA is able to detect more patients with HIT antibodies and provide a faster, more efficient analysis without the use of radioactivity.

“A significant implication of the PEA assay – as corroborated by this study – is its ability to very quickly detect HIT antibodies in some patients at the earliest signs of disease, prior to detectable titer levels with the SRA,” said Brian Curtis, Ph.D., senior director, diagnostic laboratories who leads the laboratory testing for the PEA at Versiti’s diagnostic laboratories. “The PEA’s high level of sensitivity and ability to provide expedited results has the opportunity to save lives by providing a more rapid and effective diagnosis of patients with suspected HIT. In short, there is no other test like it on the market.”

A technically simple, non-radioactive functional HIT assay, the Versiti PEA has an industry-leading turnaround time of less than 24 hours. The PEA’s higher sensitivity is especially useful in confirming weak or inconclusive results in HIT screening tests. 

The PEA relies upon platelet activation (surface protein expression) via PF4 treatment/stimulation, as opposed to the SRA, which relies upon antibodies binding to heparin-treated platelets.