Discordance between aPTT and anti-factor Xa levels and implications in patients receiving intravenous unfractionated heparin therapy
Heparin, one of the world’s oldest anticoagulation medications, accelerates the rate of
inhibition of previously activated clotting factors. It is most often used in the prophylaxis and
treatment of thromboembolic disorders and complications associated with atrial fibrillation.
The two most common ways to monitor plasma heparin levels and anticoagulation therapy
are the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and anti-factor Xa assay (anti-Xa). This
article assesses the performance of aPTT and anti-Xa monitoring protocols and analyzes the
discordance between aPTT and anti-Xa levels and its clinical implications in patients receiving
intravenous heparin therapy.
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