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Correction of Severe Heparin-Associated Thrombocytopenia with Intravenous Immunoglobulin

James N. Frame, MD; Kevin P. Mulvey, MD; John C. Phares, MD; and Michael J. Anderson, MD
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Requests for Reprints: James N. Frame, MD, Box 687, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD 20814-5000.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Frame, Mulvey, Phares, and Anderson: National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD 20814-5000.

Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(11):946-947. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-111-11-946
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Heparin-associated thrombocytopenia develops in approximately 5% of patients treated with heparin (1) and generally occurs after 2 to 10 days of therapy (2). While platelets usually increase to over 100 X 109/L within 2 to 19 days after heparin discontinuation (3), this disorder rarely causes clinical bleeding or warrants platelet transfusion. We report the first case of severe heparin-associated thrombocytopenia complicated by intestinal bleeding and progressive thrombocytopenia that had intestinal bleeding stopped and normal platelet counts restored shortly after the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin.

Case Report

A 62-year-old woman was referred to us with a 5-day history of deep venous


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