A new treatment is demonstrated for people with vaccine clots

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Angela Huynh, PhD who works at the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory. Credit: McMaster University

Scientists at McMaster University have demonstrated a new rescue treatment for people suffering from vaccine-related blood clots.

Researchers at the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory (MPIL) recommend two treatments, a combination of anticoagulant drugs with high doses of intravenous immunoglobulin, to combat vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

The effectiveness of the treatment was described in a report describing three Canadian patients who received the AstraZeneca vaccine and who later developed VITT. Two suffered from clotting in the legs and the third had clots that blocked the arteries and veins in the brain.

“If you were a patient with VITT, I would tell you that we know a treatment approach. We can accurately diagnose it with our tests, treat it and know exactly how the treatment works,” said Ishac Nazy, scientific director of the lab. and associate professor of medicine.

“Our job is to understand this mechanism of the disease so that we can improve the diagnosis and management of patients. . It’s a real approach to translational medicine, which is really our strong point, from the bench to the bed. “

VITT occurs when antibodies attack a protein in the blood, called factor 4 (PF4), which results in the activation of platelets in the blood, which causes them to clot and form clots. Blood samples taken from patients after treatment showed a reduction in antibody-mediated platelet activation in all cases.

Although the patients in the study were older, many cases of VITT have affected younger people. However, Nazy and his colleagues MPIL said VITT is a rare disorder, regardless of people’s age.

Laboratory scientists include professors Donald Arnold and John Kelton and professor of pathology and molecular medicine Ted Warkentin. Together they devised an effective VITT test and treatment based on their previous research on heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT).

Although the two conditions are similar, using a standard HIT antibody test to detect VITT can give false negative results.

This led scientists to modify the HIT test to detect specific VITT antibodies found, albeit rarely, in patients who had a COVID-19 vaccine.

Post-patient laboratory tests showed how high doses of immunoglobulin were coupled thinner drugs stopped platelet activation and stopped clot formation.

“We now understand the mechanism leading to and coagulation, ”Nazy said.

The study was published by The New England Journal of Medicine today.


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Citation: New treatment for people with vaccine clots (2021, June 9) recovered on June 9, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-treatment-people-vaccine-clots.html

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