Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a severe immune-mediated disease in which heparin promotes thrombosis. Approximately 10% of patients who experience HIT die in the hospital. The incidence of HIT varies, depending on the type of heparin used and the patient population.2,3  In a recent analysis of the United States’ Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the incidence of HIT in patients after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) was 0.63%, consistent with incidences reported in prospective trials.2,3  In contrast, the incidence of HIT after trauma or injury was only 0.02 to 0.09% in that large retrospective population-based study, but 1 to 4% in prospective trials.1,3,4  This might indicate that HIT, although intensively studied and discussed over a period of more than 20 yr, often remains undiagnosed.

In this clinical focus review, we are aiming to provide recent information on the...

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