Preventing complications in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Alternative anticoagulants are improving patient outcomes.
HIT is a common, potentially catastrophic syndrome. Awareness and early diagnosis allow effective therapeutic intervention. Ineffective strategies include stopping heparin only and starting warfarin early. Use of alternative anticoagulants is improving patient outcomes. Lepirudin, argatroban, and danaparoid each have advantages and disadvantages; treatment should be tailored to each patient.