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The Effect of Argatroban on Factor Assays

On September 22 I received an e-mail question from “JLile” asking if Argatroban affects the outcomes of coagulation factor assays. 
Argatroban (Novostan) is an intravenous direct thrombin inhibitor indicated as an alternative to heparin in patients suspected of developing heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis (HIT). The laboratory monitors argatroban using the partial thromboplastin time test (PTT, APTT) targeting a therapeutic range of 1.5 to 3 times the mean of the reference interval. Argatroban prolongs the prothrombin time, so when the physician starts a patient on coumadin, the INR is approximately twice the therapeutic range for the four to five days the drugs are administered together.

Because Argatroban influences the PT and PTT, single coagulation factor assays cannot be accurately interpreted during its use. Geo.

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