Laboratory testing for factor VIII and IX inhibitors in haemophilia: A review
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Laboratory testing for factor VIII and IX inhibitors in haemophilia: A review

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      Inhibitors are antibodies directed against haemophilia treatment products which interfere with their function. Factor VIII (FVIII) inhibitors in haemophilia A and factor IX (FIX) inhibitors in haemophilia B are significant clinically when they require a change in a patient's treatment regimen. Their persistence may increase morbidity and mortality. Multiple laboratory tests are now available for detecting and understanding inhibitors in haemophilia. Inhibitors are traditionally measured by their interference in clotting or chromogenic factor assays. They may also be detected using immunologic assays, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or fluorescence immunoassay. Anti-FVIII or anti-FIX antibodies of IgG| subclass best correlate with the presence of functional inhibitors. Improvements in inhibitor measurement have been recently introduced. Preanalytical heat treatment of patient specimens allows testing of patients without delaying treatment. Use of chromogenic and immunologic assays may aid in identification of false-positive results, which are frequent among low-titre inhibitors. Validated reagent substitutions can be used to reduce assay cost. New methods for defining assay positivity and reporting low-titre inhibitors have been suggested. Challenges remain in the areas of quality control, assay standardization, monitoring of patients undergoing immune tolerance induction therapy and testing in the presence of modified and novel treatment products.
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