Contact: Peter Patterson
(202) 835-8718
800-892-1400 ext. 1718
Email: ppatterson@aacc.org

Thursday, June 30, 2011
AACC Announces Webinar on Heparin Monitoring in the Core Lab

Washington, DC – June 29, 2011     The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) announces a webinar Heparin Monitoring in the Core Lab: The Role of the Anti-Xa Assay to be held on August 31, 2011, at 2:00 pm Eastern. The webinar will last 60 minutes.

Despite difficulties in dosing and monitoring, intravenous unfractionated heparin (UFH) is the leading therapy in the inpatient setting for a multitude of thrombotic disorders. The wide variability in patients’ drug metabolization rates and the narrow therapeutic index of heparin requires continuous monitoring and dose adjustment. Traditionally, the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) has been the primary test to monitor patient response to UFH therapy despite known limitations such as poor correlation with blood heparin concentration, varying response to aPTT reagents and biological factors independent of heparin activity. In response to the shortcomings of aPTT, laboratories have recently begun adopting the chromogenic anti-Factor Xa assay, although these assays have their own limitations such as higher costs and uncertainties about the therapeutic and critical ranges. However, many laboratories have determined that, whether dealing with anti-Xa or aPTT, the issues of coagulation test standardization must be confronted, and that the anti-Xa is a superior assay that can reduce disease management costs that help offset per-test cost increases. They will explain the biology of heparin therapy and its effect upon the coagulation cascade; the advantages and limitations of heparin testing: surrogate markers vs. direct measurement; the pros and cons of anti-Xa assays in measuring therapeutic levels of UFH; and how best to minimize bleeding and thrombotic complications through improved assay selection.

The expert faculty for this webinar, from the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, FL, is Neil S. Harris, MD, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Immunology & Laboratory Medicine, and Unit Co-Director Coagulation and Clinical Chemistry, and Marc S. Zumberg, MD, Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, who will explain how they teamed up their institution’s pharmacy and clinical hematology departments to develop a protocol that minimized both bleeding and thrombotic complications, thus improving patient care and safety.

AACC is pleased to offer complimentary press registrations for this webinar. Journalists interested in attending should complete and submit a Press Registration Form. For more information about the webinar or AACC, contact Peter Patterson by email or by phone on either of the above phone numbers.

The webinar is supported by an educational grant from Stago.

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AACC is a leading professional society dedicated to improving healthcare through laboratory medicine. Its over 9,000 members are clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and others involved in developing tests and directing laboratory operations. AACC brings this community together with programs that advance knowledge, expertise, and innovation.