We utilized a kaolin-activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) using rabbit brain phospholipid, in which the capacity of a fourfold increased “high” phospholipid concentration (PC) to normalize the abnormal “standard” PC-APTT in patients with lupus anticoagulants is assessed. This system was also used to measure factors VIIIC, IX, and XI. The tissue thromboplastin inhibition test (TTI), a prothrombin time system in which the activity of a lupus anticoagulant is unmasked by the use of dilute thromboplastin, was simultaneously evaluated. Test sensitivity was defined by results on 31 consecutive patients with standard PC-APTT inhibitors and no bleeding tendency. Specificity was based on 94 patients with various other coagulopathies, including coagulation factor inhibitors, severe congenital factor deficiencies, hepatic insufficiency, and warfarin and heparin treatment. Twenty-one patients with lupus erythematosus and standard PC-APTT results within normal limits were also tested. Sensitivity of the APTT system was superior to that of the TTI (97% v 58%); high PC normalized clotting time ratios and factor levels. Positive results were common with both assays in the group of 20 heparinized patients. The APTT system had superior specificity in remaining cases; there were no positive tests among 74 patients. The lupus erythematosus group had a significant decrease in the clotting time ratio with high PC, indicating that low- level lupus anticoagulants are quite prevalent in this group. The kaolin clotting time using rabbit brain phospholipid in standard and high concentrations is a simple, sensitive, and specific technique for diagnosis of lupus anticoagulants.

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