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1.  Musculoskeletal Complications of Hemophilia 
HSS Journal  2009;6(1):37-42.
The most important clinical strategy for management of patients with hemophilia is the avoidance of recurrent hemarthroses by means of continuous, intravenous hematological prophylaxis. When only intravenous on-demand hematological treatment is available, frequent evaluations are necessary for the early diagnosis and treatment of episodes of intra-articular bleeding. The natural history of the disease in patients with poorly controlled intra-articular bleeding is the development of chronic synovitis and, later, multi-articular hemophilic arthropathy. Once arthropathy develops, the functional prognosis is poor. Treatment of these patients should be conducted through a comprehensive program by a multidisciplinary hemophilia unit. Although continuous prophylaxis can avoid the development of the orthopedic complications of hemophilia still seen in the twenty-first century, such a goal has not, so far, been achieved even in developed countries. Therefore, many different surgical procedures such as arthrocentesis, radiosynoviorthesis (radiosynovectomy) (yttrium-90, rhenium-186), tendon lengthenings, alignment osteotomies, joint arthroplasties, removal of pseudotumours, and fixation of fractures are still frequently needed in the care of these patients.
PMCID: PMC2821487  PMID: 19921342
hemophilia; orthopedic surgery; musculo-skeletal complications
2.  Review of antihemophilic factor injection for the routine prophylaxis of bleeding episodes and risk of joint damage in severe hemophilia A 
Individuals with severe factor VIII deficiency experience recurrent hemorrhages and develop progressive joint damage. Large retrospective, nonrandomized studies of patient cohorts followed over decades show that factor prophylaxis initiated at an early age before the onset of recurrent bleeding reduces the incidence of hemophilic arthropathy. Two recent prospective, multicenter, randomized trials conducted in Europe (the ESPRIT study) and the USA (the Joint Outcome Study) confirm the efficacy of prophylaxis in the prevention of hemarthroses and arthropathy. Regular prophylaxis initiated in early childhood enhances the quality of life for patients with severe hemophilia and reduces the risk of inhibitor development. The substantial costs of such preventative therapy may be offset by the reduced expenditures that the care of degenerative joint disease in adult hemophilia patients would otherwise require.
PMCID: PMC2835555  PMID: 20234780
hemophilia; factor VIII; prophylaxis; arthropathy; bleeding
3.  Optimal management of hemophilic arthropathy and hematomas 
Journal of Blood Medicine  2014;5:207-218.
Hemophilia is a hematological disorder characterized by a partial or complete deficiency of clotting factor VIII or IX. Its bleeding complications primarily affect the musculoskeletal system. Hemarthrosis is a major hemophilia-related complication, responsible for a particularly debilitating chronic arthropathy, in the long term. In addition to clotting factor concentrates, usually prescribed by the hematologist, managing acute hemarthrosis and chronic arthropathy requires a close collaboration between the orthopedic surgeon and physiotherapist. This collaboration, comprising a coagulation and musculoskeletal specialist, is key to effectively preventing hemarthrosis, managing acute joint bleeding episodes, assessing joint function, and actively treating chronic arthropathy. This paper reviews, from a practical point of view, the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and treatment of hemarthrosis and chronic hemophilia-induced arthropathy for hematologists, orthopedic surgeons, and physiotherapists.
PMCID: PMC4207585  PMID: 25378964
hemophilia; arthropathy; hemarthrosis; hematoma; physiotherapy; target joint
4.  IL-6 Receptor Antagonist as Adjunctive Therapy with Clotting Factor Replacement to Protect Against Bleeding-Induced Arthropathy in Hemophilia 
The major morbidity of hemophilia is bleeding induced hemophilic arthropathy (HA) which once established may not be interrupted completely even by prophylactic clotting factor replacement. Specific therapies to oppose inflammatory cytokines, including Interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor antagonists, have become important in the management of inflammatory arthritides.
We investigated combining therapy using MR16-1, a rat IgG antibody directed against mouse IL-6 receptor (anti-IL-6R), with factor VIII (FVIII) replacement to protect against bleeding induced arthropathy in hemophilia A mice.
Three recurrent hemarthroses were induced in the knee joint capsule of factor VIII knockout mice. Treatment at the time of each hemorrhage included either: No treatment; FVIII replacement given at the time of hemorrhage; FVIII replacement at hemorrhage plus anti-IL-6R as four weekly injections; FVIII replacement with non-specific control antibody (rat IgG); anti-IL-6R alone without FVIII replacement. Six weeks following the first hemarthosis joints were harvested and histopathology was scored for synovitis, for cartilage integrity and for macrophage infiltration.
Animals that received anti-IL-6R as an adjunct to FVIII replacement demonstrated the best survival and the least acute joint swelling and pathology on histologic examination of synovium and cartilage (P<0.05 for each parameter). All histopathologic parameters in the mice receiving FVIII+anti-IL-6R were limited and were comparable to findings in injured hemostatically normal mice. The major benefits of adjunctive anti-IL-6R were decreasing synovial hyperplasia, hemosiderin deposition and macrophage infiltration.
Short-course specific inhibition of inflammatory cytokines as an adjunct to replacement hemostasis may be an approach to minimize hemophilic joint degeneration.
PMCID: PMC3656980  PMID: 23413986
IL-6; anti-IL-6; anti-cytokine; hemophilia; hemarthrosis; hemophilic arthropathy; MR16-1
5.  Advances in bypassing agent therapy for hemophilia patients with inhibitors to close care gaps and improve outcomes 
In the past, patients with hemophilia and inhibitors have had less-than-optimal treatment and have experienced more orthopedic complications than patients without inhibitors. Bypassing agents offer the potential to close treatment gaps between inhibitor and noninhibitor patients by helping the former better attain key treatment goals, including: facilitating early initiation of treatment and hemostatic control in hemarthroses; providing effective treatment in serious hemorrhagic episodes; and performance of major surgery. Effective treatment with a bypassing agent minimizes joint and/or muscle damage and potentially can serve as an effective prophylactic agent to minimize the number of hemarthroses experienced per year, thereby mitigating the development of arthropathy. The reported efficacy of the currently available bypassing agents ranges from approximately 50–80% (50–64% in controlled studies) for plasma-derived activated prothrombin complex concentrate (pd-aPCC) and 81–91% (in controlled studies) for recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa), including use in major orthopedic surgery. Both bypassing agents have undergone key improvements in their formulation and/or properties in recent years. The nanofiltered, vapor-heated formulation of pd-aPCC has diminished the risk of acquiring blood-borne viral infections and the room temperature stable formulation of rFVIIa allows more convenient storage, increased ease to dissolve and inject, and smaller volumes, thereby increasing overall ease of administration. Use of recommended dosing has been demonstrated to provide effective hemostasis with a minimal number of injections for both agents. In this paper, we review the individual characteristics of pd-aPCC and rFVIIa and discuss clinical data from studies conducted in inhibitor patients that demonstrate the potential benefits of these bypassing agents in this difficult-to-treat population, and underscore the potential opportunities to close the gap in care between inhibitor and noninhibitor hemophilic patients.
PMCID: PMC4110812  PMID: 25083214
hemophilia; inhibitors; outcomes; patient care; plasma-derived activated prothrombin complex concentrate; recombinant activated factor VII
6.  Treatment of hemophilia B: focus on recombinant factor IX 
Hemophilia B is a recessive X-linked bleeding disorder characterized by deficiency of the coagulation factor IX (FIX). In hemophilia B patients the severity of the bleeding phenotype is related to the degree of the FIX defect. Hemophilia B treatment has improved greatly in the last 20 years with the introduction first of plasma-derived and then of recombinant FIX concentrates. Replacement therapy may be administered through on-demand or prophylaxis regimens, but the latter treatment modality has been shown to be superior in prevention of hemophilic arthropathy and in improvement of patients’ quality of life. The purpose of this narrative review is to summarize the current knowledge on treatment strategies for hemophilia B, focusing on recombinant FIX products either clinically used or in development. There is only one rFIX product that is licensed to treat hemophilia B patients; from the analysis of the literature data presented in this review, the authors conclude that this rFIX product has demonstrated an excellent safety profile and excellent clinical efficacy for halting and preventing bleeds in hemophilia B patients. While prophylaxis has emerged as the best therapeutic strategy for such patients because of its ability to prevent hemophilic arthropathy and to improve patients’ quality of life, the pharmacokinetically tailored dosing of rFIX is another key point when planning hemophilia B treatment, as it allows optimization of the factor concentrate usage. Further clinical studies are needed to better assess the safety and efficacy (ie, the incidence of adverse reactions and inhibitor development) of newer rFIX products.
PMCID: PMC3575125  PMID: 23430394
recombinant FIX products; plasma-derived FIX concentrate; bleeding; blood clotting disorder; on-demand treatment; prophylaxis treatment
7.  Treatment of hemophilia: a review of current advances and ongoing issues 
Journal of blood medicine  2010;1:183-195.
Replacement of the congenitally deficient factor VIII or IX through plasma-derived or recombinant concentrates is the mainstay of treatment for hemophilia. Concentrate infusions when hemorrhages occur typically in joint and muscles (on-demand treatment) is able to resolve bleeding, but does not prevent the progressive joint deterioration leading to crippling hemophilic arthropathy. Therefore, primary prophylaxis, ie, regular infusion of concentrates started after the first joint bleed and/or before the age of two years, is now recognized as first-line treatment in children with severe hemophilia. Secondary prophylaxis, whenever started, aims to avoid (or delay) the progression of arthropathy and improve patient quality of life. Interestingly, recent data suggest a role for early prophylaxis also in preventing development of inhibitors, the most serious complication of treatment in hemophilia, in which multiple genetic and environmental factors may be involved. Treatment of bleeds in patients with inhibitors requires bypassing agents (activated prothrombin complex concentrates, recombinant factor VIIa). However, eradication of inhibitors by induction of immune tolerance should be the first choice for patients with recent onset inhibitors. The wide availability of safe factor concentrates and programs for comprehensive care has now resulted in highly satisfactory treatment of hemophilia patients in developed countries. Unfortunately, this is not true for more than two-thirds of persons with hemophilia, who live in developing countries.
PMCID: PMC3262316  PMID: 22282697
bleeding; comprehensive care; clotting factor concentrates; hemophilia; inhibitors; prophylaxis; treatment
8.  Descriptive Epidemiology of Hemophilia and Other Coagulation Disorders in Mansoura, Egypt: Retrospective Analysis. 
Hemophilia represent the most severe inherited bleeding disorder (INB), it’s thought to affect inviduals from all geographical areas in equal frequency. In Egypt which has a population of approximately (80million) consanguineous marriage are frequent, therefore autosomal recessive coagulation disorders reach a higher prevalence than in many other countries.
The primary aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological situation of hemophilia in Mansoura, Egypt, as based on retrospective analysis of clinical records Mansoura University Children Hospital between years 2000 and 2008. The second aim was to assess the orthopedic complications and occurrence of hepatitis C in those patients and relate this status to the type of replacement therapy received prior to the study.
The study included 72 children with hematological disorders registered from 2000 to 2008 in MUCH. The hemophilic patient was defined as a person with physician-diagnosed hemophilia A or B and a measured factor VIII or IX activity level of 30% or less. Persons with acquired inhibitors of FVIII or FIX excluded. Severity level was categorized as mild if the factor activity level was 6–30%, moderate if 1–5% and severe if <1% of normal.
The severe presentation represents the majority in 76.7% followed by moderate severity in 17.2%.The commonest IBDs was hemophilia A affecting 44 patients, followed by Hemophilia B affecting 15 patients. The rare types were Factor XI deficiency, Factor V deficiency, Factor VII deficiency and combined FVIII, FIX and FX deficiency. The commonest orthopedic manifestation needing therapy was found among hemophilia A representing 8.3%. Hepatitis C viremia detected by PCR was found in 11.1% of patients. The bleeding complications as hematoma or hemarthrosis were the common complications. Nevertheless, 44.4% of patients had no complications, From this study we can conclude that the most common IBDs in our locality is hemophilia A followed by hemophilia B. The common presenting symptom was bleeding following male circumcision. Hepatitis C infection and arthropathy represented the main complications. The discovery of IBDs in young age children with proper supportive therapy could prevent arthropathy. Proper screening of blood and blood products reduce the risk of viral hepatitis and HIV acquisition.
PMCID: PMC3033150  PMID: 21415978
9.  Clinical and functional evaluation of the joint status of hemophiliac adults at a Brazilian blood center 
Hemophilia is a potentially disabling condition as hemophilic arthropathy develops early in life and is progressive, especially in patients treated in an on-demand regime.
This study aimed to describe the structural joint status and the functional independence score of hemophiliac adults and correlate structural damage with the functional deficits found in these patients.
Hemophiliacs at the Juiz de Fora Regional Blood Center - HEMOMINAS Foundation, aged 18 years and over and treated in an on-demand regime, were clinically evaluated in respect to structural joint damage using the World Federation of Hemophilia Physical Examination Scale (WFH-PE) and functional deficits using the Functional Independence Score in Hemophilia (FISH). The Spearman rank test was used to evaluate the correlation between the two scores.
Thirty-nine patients were evaluated. The mean age was 36.8 years. Target joints were detected in 69.2% of patients studied. The mean Physical Examination Scale and Functional Independence Score were 16.87 and 25.64, respectively. Patients with mild hemophilia showed no significant joint involvement. Patients with severe or moderate hemophilia had similar results regarding structural damage (p-value < 0.001) and functional deficits (p-value = 0.001). There was statistical significance in the correlation between the two scores (r = -0.850; p-value = 0.01).
The World Federation of Hemophilia Physical Examination Scale and Functional Independence Score in Hemophilia may be useful to clinically assess structural joint damage and functional deficits in hemophiliacs as the tools are inexpensive and easy to administer and may be able to detect hemophilic arthropathy, which results from recurrent hemarthrosis and is common in the population studied.
PMCID: PMC3621631  PMID: 23580880
Hemophilia A; Hemophilia B; Joint diseases; Disability evaluation; Hemarthrosis
10.  The Efficacy of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and X-Ray in the Evaluation of Response to Radiosynovectomy in Patients with Hemophilic Arthropathy 
Objective: We aimed to assess the role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and X-Ray in the evaluation of response to radiosynovectomy (RS) in patients with hemophilic arthropathy.
Material and Methods: Eleven patients who suffered from hemophilic arthropathy with a mean age of 11.7 (range between 7-15) were included in this study. 148-185 MBq Yttrium 90 silicate (Y-90) was administered intraarticularly to ten knee joints and one patient was treated with intraarticular 74 MBq Rhenium 186 (Re-186) injection into his ankle. Before radiosynovectomy, plain anteroposterior and lateral X-rays of the target joints were obtained by standard technique. The follow-up MRI and X-ray studies of the patients were done 6 months after RS. Pettersson hemophilic arthropathy scales were utilized to stage the condition of the joints on plain X-ray and classification of the investigated joints on MRI were done according to Denver score. The clinical assessment of the efficacy of the RS was made with the comparison of the average bleedings before and after the intervention.
Results: During the 6-month follow-up period after RS, an improvement in number of hemarthrosis 75% or greater compared with the prior six months occurred in six joints (54.5%). The Pettersson scores worsened in 1/11 (9%), remained unchanged in 9/11 (81.8%), and improved in 1/11 (9%) joints. At the 6-month follow-up, the MRI score worsened in one (9%) and was unchanged in 10/11 joints (90.9%).
Conclusion: MRI is a more sensitive tool than plain radiography for evaluating and follow-up of joint disease in persons with hemophilia, but both methods don’t show correlation with the therapeutic response
Conflict of interest:None declared.
PMCID: PMC3590945  PMID: 23487524
Radiosynovectomy; hemophilic arthropathy; magnetic resonance imaging; therapy response
11.  Comprehensive clinical and statistical analysis of hemophilia in Korea. 
A Total of 498 cases of hemophilia which were reported by sixteen medical centers in Korea were reviewed and analyzed. Hemophilia A comprised 425 cases (85.3%) and the remaining 73 cases (14.7%) were hemophilia B. One case was female and all other cases were male. There were known hemophilia patients in the family in 43.0% of cases and the involved members were brothers, maternal cousins, maternal uncles, and maternal grandfathers in descending order of frequency. The major symptoms of the patients were hemorrhagic, such as easy bruising and hemarthrosis followed by prolonged bleeding after trauma and soft tissue hematoma. The incidence of hemarthrosis increased significantly with age. The pediatric age group below the age of 15 consisted of 67.1% of the cases. According to the age at diagnosis, half (54.2%) of the severe cases were diagnosed before the age of 1 year. APTT was prolonged over 40 seconds in all cases and 291 cases showed severe prolongation over 80 seconds. Of 498 cases 273 cases (54.8%) belonged to the severe form (factor VII or IX level, less then 1%), whereas 182 cases (36.5%) and 43 cases (8.7%) belonged to the moderate (factor VIII or IX, 2-5%) and mild form (factor VIII or IX, 6-25%), respectively, Chronic arthropathy was present in 236 cases (49.6%), and the incidence increased significantly with age. The management of chronic arthropathy most commonly employed was rehabilitation in 25.4% of cases, but in 50.8% no management was given at all. The involved joints in descending order of frequency were knees, elbows and ankles. The complications were intracranial hemorrhage, Gl bleeding and nerve palsy in 48, 24, and 13 cases, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3053653  PMID: 3079565
12.  Primary prophylaxis in children with haemophilia 
Blood Transfusion  2008;6(Suppl 2):s4-s11.
Starting from the clinical observations that moderate haemophiliacs experienced only few bleeding episodes and rarely developed significant joint deterioration (haemophilic arthropathy), and the pioneer experience in Sweden, prophylaxis (i. e. the regular and long-term administration of clotting factor concentrate in order to prevent bleeding) has been practiced for more than forty years in severe haemophilia and is currently recommended as the first choice of treatment by the World Health Organisation and World Federation of Hemophilia and by many national medical/scientific organizations. Observational studies clearly established the superiority of prophylaxis over on-demand treatment in reducing the risk of arthropathy, also showing that starting prophylaxis earlier in life and after very few joint bleeds was associated with better joint outcomes, and led to the current definitions of primary (started before the age of 2 yrs and after no more than one joint bleed) and secondary prophylaxis. More recently, evidences from randomized trials, which were previously lacking in this setting, were also provided.
This review summarizes available data from which current clinical practice of primary (and early secondary) prophylaxis in children with severe haemophilia was drawn. Open issues concerning optimal regimens and barriers to the implementation of prophylaxis are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC2652217  PMID: 19105503
bleeding; children; haemophilia; prophylaxis; treatment
It has been possible to duplicate in the hemophilic dog four of the major experiments which have suggested in humans an "anticephalin" hypothesis for the pathogenesis of hemophilia. The experiments in the dog have been considerably extended, as compared with the human experiments, by a variety of techniques. I. Asbestos was placed in contact with hemophilic dog plasma, and the clotting time became shorter. When transfused, this plasma had no effect on the defective prothrombin utilization of hemophilic dogs, in contrast to untreated normal plasma. II. The ionic strength of native dog plasma and dog plasma citrated (38 per cent sodium citrate) then recalcified (0.2 M CaCl2) were calculated. The ionic strength of the native plasma was approximately 0.15 while that of the citrated plasma was approximately 0.21. Conductivity and freezing point determinations on the plasmas described above were consistent with the idea that the ionic strength of the citrated plasma was significantly higher. The biphasic dilution curve, to which much significance has been attached in arriving at the "anticephalin" hypothesis, can be produced readily in the dog. Diluting dog plasma with "iso-ionic" or "hyper-ionic" NaCl solution abolished the biphasic phenomenon. Dilution with distilled water exaggerated the biphasic curve. These experiments suggest that the biphasic curve is an artifact of uncontrolled ionic strength. III. The prothrombin utilization rates of undiluted whole hemophilic dog blood and hemophilic dog blood diluted 1:2 with 0.85 per cent NaCl were found to be the same. IV. Ether extraction of both normal and hemophilic dog plasma removed fibrinogen and reduced somewhat the concentration of prothrombin. In treated normal plasma AHF was reduced to the level of untreated hemophilic plasma, thus producing a quasi-hemophilic plasma. Defibrination and ether extraction of both normal and hemophilic dog plasma "generated" clotting activity which shortened the clotting time of hemophilic plasma and was active in the thromboplastin generation test. The activity "generated" by defibrination and ether extraction of dog plasma was adsorbed by a BaSO4 suspension and shown, therefore, not to be the anti-hemophilic factor (AHF). Transfusion of ether-extracted normal or hemophilic dog plasma into hemophilic dogs had no effect on the prothrombin utilization rate, unlike untreated normal plasma which had a marked effect. Thus, four of the main lines of evidence supporting the "anticephalin" hypothesis were duplicated in the dog. However, by extending the experiments it was found that all were explainable on bases other than the presence of "anticephalin." Such an hypothesis is not necessary, therefore, to explain the pathogenesis of canine hemophilia. The apparent identity of hemophilia in the two species suggests that the hypothesis is also not applicable to humans.
PMCID: PMC2136750  PMID: 13449237
14.  Successful Management of Total Knee Replacement in a High Responder Hemophilia Patient With a History of Inhibitor 
The development of inhibitors against administered clotting factors may render replacement therapy ineffective for some hemophilia patients. Such patients are therefore at the highest risk of developing arthropathy. Elective orthopedic surgery (EOS) in hemophilic patients having such inhibitors remains a rare, expensive, and difficult surgery, whose management represents a significant challenge. We report the case of a 35-year-old man with a severe form of hemophilia A (factor VIII < 1%), who was suffering from repetitive spontaneous hemarthrosis, especially in his knee joints that had consequently become more susceptible to bleeding. The patient had a history of high levels of factor VIII inhibitor (> 5.0 Bethesda Unit [BU]/ml) as shown by the factor VIII inhibitor assay; therefore, we began treatment with factor VIIa for his mild-to-moderate bleeding (90 µg/kg intravenous bolus injections). The interval between injections varied with the severity of the hemorrhage in each bleeding episode. The inhibitor level reduced to 3.1 BU/ml after three months, to 1.6 BU/ml after six months, and disappeared completely after one year of treatment. We administered factor VIII at a dose of 50 IU/kg every eight hours during the first three post-operative days, then continued administration with a dose of 40 IU/kg every 12 hours for another four days, and observed a very good response to treatment with no bleeding. Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) is not an inhibitor-removal strategy, but an inhibitor-bypassing product. However, in our patient, the treatment of mild-to-moderate bleeding with short-term use of rFVIIa and no exposure to factor VIII caused a gradual reduction in the inhibitor level over a period of 1 year.
PMCID: PMC3589773  PMID: 23486529
Orthopedics; Hemophilia A; Hemophilia B; Inhibitor
15.  Prophylaxis in older Canadian adults with hemophilia A: lessons and more questions 
BMC Hematology  2015;15:4.
Although prophylaxis is a standard of care for young children in developed countries, known to reduce the severity of hemophilic arthropathy, older adults with existing arthropathy have not traditionally used prophylaxis. Recent studies have shown that adults with hemophilia A are increasingly adopting prophylaxis but the characteristics of this treatment in older adults are not well understood. This multicenter observational study was conducted to describe how secondary/tertiary prophylaxis is being used in older adults (≥40 years of age) in comparison to younger adults with severe hemophilia A.
Eligible adult (≥18 years of age) Canadian males with baseline FVIII:C ≤2% from the participating centres were observed over a 2 year period.
Of the 220 adult severe hemophilia patients enrolled, 70% (155/220) used prophylaxis during the observational period. Only 27% (60/220) are older adults with very few >60 years of age. A lower proportion of older adults use prophylaxis compared to younger adults (58% vs. 75%, p = 0.016), with most patients in both groups using continuous prophylaxis (92 and 94% respectively). When considering all treatment modalities together, younger subjects use more factor concentrate than older subjects (2437 u/kg/year vs. 1702 u/kg/year, p = 0.027); however, older subjects on prophylaxis use 3447 u/kg/year and had an ABR of 12 while those on demand use 560 u/kg/year and had an ABR of 13.
A significant number of older adults use secondary/tertiary continuous prophylaxis in Canada, accounting for a significant fraction of factor concentrate utilization.
PMCID: PMC4331146
Hemophilia A; Adults; Prophylaxis; Bleeding; Aging; Factor VIII
16.  Secondary prophylaxis in adolescent and adult haemophiliacs 
Blood Transfusion  2008;6(Suppl 2):s17-s20.
Progressive arthropathy of large joints of the limbs (knees, ankles, elbows), resulting from recurrent joint bleeds and subsequent long-term degenerative phenomena, is one of the main causes of morbidity and of deterioration of quality of life in adult severe hemophiliacs. While primary prophylaxis (i.e. the regular continuous long-term infusion of factor concentrates started before the age of two years and/or after no more than one joint bleed) is nowadays considered the gold standard for preserving joint function in patients with severe haemophilia, the benefits of secondary prophylaxis (i.e., all the long-term regular treatments not fulfilling the criteria of primary prophylaxis) are still controversial.
In this review we present the literature data on secondary prophylaxis, focusing on adolescent and adults haemophiliacs along with clinical experience in Italy.
On the whole, the more recently published studies suggest the effectiveness of early and delayed secondary prophylaxis. However, a number of questions are still unanswered, including the optimal dose, dosing interval and duration of secondary prophylaxis. Only large, prospective, long-term, possibly randomized studies will help to definitively assess the clinical impact of this strategy in adolescent and adult hemophiliacs.
PMCID: PMC2652219  PMID: 19105505
secondary prophylaxis; haemophilia; adolescent-adult; cost; effectiveness; quality of life
17.  Recombinant Factor VIIa Analog NN1731 (V158D/E296V/M298Q-FVIIa) Enhances Fibrin Formation, Structure and Stability in Lipidated Hemophilic Plasma 
Thrombosis research  2011;128(6):570-576.
The bypassing agent recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) is efficacious in treating bleeding in hemophilia patients with inhibitors. Efforts have focused on the rational engineering of rFVIIa variants with increased hemostatic potential. One rFVIIa analog (V158D/E296V/M298Q-FVIIa, NN1731) improves thrombin generation and clotting in purified systems, whole blood from hemophilic patients and factor VIII-deficient mice.
We used calibrated automated thrombography and plasma clotting assays to compare effects of bypassing agents (rFVIIa, NN1731) on hemophilic clot formation, structure, and ability to resist fibrinolysis.
Both rFVIIa and NN1731 shortened the clotting onset and increased the maximum rate of fibrin formation and fibrin network density in hemophilic plasma clots. In the presence of tissue plasminogen activator, both rFVIIa and NN1731 shortened the time to peak turbidity (TTPeaktPA) and increased the area under the clot formation curve (AUCtPA). Phospholipids increased both rFVIIa and NN1731 activity in a lipid concentration-dependent manner. Estimated geometric mean concentrations of rFVIIa and NN1731 producing similar onset, rate, TTPeaktPA, and AUCtPA as seen with 100% factors VIII and IX were: 24.5, 74.3, 29.7, and 37.1 nM rFVIIa, and 8.6, 31.2, 9.0, and 11.3 nM NN1731, respectively. In each case, the NN1731 concentration was significantly lower than rFVIIa.
These findings suggest that like rFVIIa, NN1731 improves the formation, structure, and stability of hemophilic clots. Higher lipid concentrations may facilitate assessment of both rFVIIa and NN1731 activity. NN1731 appears likely to support rapid clot formation in tissues with high endogenous fibrinolytic activity.
PMCID: PMC3156970  PMID: 21561645
hemophilia; recombinant factor VIIa; fibrinogen; fibrinolysis; NN1731
18.  Viscosupplementation in patients with hemophilic arthropathy 
Acta Ortopedica Brasileira  2013;21(1):12-17.
To assess whether viscosupplementation with hyaluronic acid in patients with severe hemophilic arthropathy associated with triamcinolone after washing with saline improves joint pain, stiffness, function and quality of life.
Eleven patients with hemophilic arthritis of the knee with and without involvement of other joints (elbows and ankles) underwent joint lavage with saline and subsequent injection of Hylan and triamcinolone in all affected joints. The patients answered the algo-functional (Lequesne and WOMAC), visual analog scale for pain (VAS) and SF-36 (quality of life) questionnaires preoperatively, and at one and three months postoperatively.
Pain (VAS and WOMAC pain) and stiffness (WOMAC stiffness) did not show significant improvement (p = 0.3, p = 0.2, p = 0.1, respectively). However function had significant improvement given by WOMAC total and function (averaging 11 points, p = 0.04 and p = 0.001). There was no significant variation in scores in Lequesne's questionnaire (p = 0.1), yet both mental and physical components of SF-36 presented clinically relevant and significant improvements (p = 0.002).
Joint lavage with saline followed by injection of corticosteroids and Hylan is effective in the treatment of hemophilic arthropathy, especially in functional improvement and quality of life. Level of Evidence IV, Case series.
PMCID: PMC3862017  PMID: 24453636
Hemophilia; Osteoarthritis; Knee; Hyaluronic acid/ administration & dosage; Hyaluronic acid/therapeutic use
19.  Cost–utility analysis of prophylaxis versus treatment on demand in severe hemophilia A 
Individuals with severe hemophilia A have reduced blood levels of clotting factor VIII (FVIII) leading to recurrent bleeding into joints and muscles. Primary prophylaxis with clotting factor concentrates started early in childhood prevents joint bleeds, thus avoiding joint damage and improving people’s quality of life. There remain significant differences in the implementation of primary prophylaxis worldwide mainly due to the cost of prophylaxis compared with treatment on demand.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of primary prophylaxis with FVIII concentrates versus secondary prophylaxis, versus treatment on demand, and versus a “hybrid” (primary prophylaxis followed by on-demand treatment in adults) in individuals with severe hemophilia A.
A Markov model was developed and run using different sources of clinical, cost, and utility data. The model was populated with a hypothetical cohort of 100 individuals with severe hemophilia A. The perspective of the Italian National Health System was used.
The baseline results showed that primary and secondary prophylaxis is cost-effective compared both with treatment on demand and with a hybrid strategy. The incremental costs per quality-adjusted life-year gained for individuals with hemophilia A receiving primary and secondary prophylaxis were €40,229 to €40,236 versus an on-demand strategy. However, the sensitivity analyses performed showed that the results were sensitive to the unit cost of clotting FVIII, bleeding frequency, and the discount rate.
Although primary prophylaxis is a costly treatment, our results show that it is cost-effective compared with treatment on demand.
PMCID: PMC3169977  PMID: 21935333
hemophilia; cost-utility; factor VIII; prophylaxis; treatment on demand; quality of life
A study was made of the clotting defect and the course of the malady in a group of male dogs with an inherited, sex-linked bleeding disease. The clotting defect is characterized by a prolonged clotting time and a delayed prothrombin utilization, and is corrected by the addition either of thromboplastin or of normal plasma. A plasma protein fraction, fraction I, also corrects the defect. The defect appears to be due to a deficiency of a plasma factor, which normally, in the presence of platelets, makes thromboplastin available in shed blood. The clotting anomaly appears to be identical with that found in human hemophilia. The hemostatic defect is characterized by repeated hemorrhages, usually without obvious relationship to trauma. Hemarthroses occur frequently and may result in permanent joint deformity. The animals usually die early in life from massive hemorrhage. Transfusions with normal blood or plasma correct the clotting defect and readily control the hemorrhagic phenomena. By the use of transfusions, these dogs have been reared to maturity.
PMCID: PMC2135899  PMID: 18136192
21.  Multiple pyarthrosis in human immunodeficiency virus-infected hemophiliacs 
Classically, a swollen, painful joint in a patient with hemophilia has been considered to be due to a hemarthrosis until otherwise proven, and treated immediately with appropriate coagulation factor replacement. Two cases of human immunodeficiency virus (hiv)-infected hemophiliacs presenting with an initial apparent hemarthrosis, complicated subsequently by numerous pyarthroses and sepsis are described. In light of the prevalence of hiv infection in the adult hemophiliac population with arthropathy, a reappraisal of the clinical caveat of immediate infusion without joint aspiration is required.
PMCID: PMC3250845  PMID: 22346479
Hemophilia; HIV infection; Pyarthrosis
22.  A Survey of Team Physicians on the Participation Status of Hemophilic Athletes in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Athletics 
Journal of Athletic Training  2003;38(3):245-251.
To determine if team physicians would allow individuals with hemophilia A to participate in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletics and what factors influence their decisions. An additional purpose was to determine if individuals with hemophilia A are presently participating in Division I athletics.
Design and Setting:
The data were collected with a mail survey designed by the researchers.
66 Division I team physicians.
The questions in the survey were considered important in understanding the history of team physicians with hemophilic athletes, the self-established standard that team physicians would follow in the future with regard to athletic participation by hemophilic players, and the team physicians' reasoning for their standards.
Of the 231 surveys sent, 72 were returned and 66 were analyzed. Sixteen hemophilic players were reported to have participated in Division I athletics. Several team physicians allowed hemophilic athletes to participate under many circumstances. As the severity of hemophilia A and risk of injury due to sport type (noncontact, contact, or collision) increased, the number of team physicians allowing participation decreased. Also, it was reported that hemophilic athletes were currently participating in sports.
Athletes with hemophilia are currently participating in Division I athletics, but they have special needs regarding their conditions. Prevention and management plans have been devised to expedite the care of these athletes.
PMCID: PMC233179  PMID: 14608435
blood diseases; preparticipation physical examination; desmopressin acetate
23.  Antihemophilic factor (recombinant) plasma/albumin-free method for the management and prevention of bleeding episodes in patients with hemophilia A 
Hemophilia is a rare genetic bleeding disorder that, if not adequately controlled, is associated with life-threatening bleeding events and serious and costly complications, primarily from joint damage. The advent of effective clotting factor replacement therapy for patients with hemophilia is considered one of the foremost medical advances of the 20th century. The last 3 decades of experience in hemophilia care have witnessed the effectiveness of the care of patients with hemophilia within specialized comprehensive care centers, advances in factor replacement therapies, the benefits of prophylaxis over on-demand replacement therapy, and the role of aggressive management of joint disease to prevent dysfunction. Ongoing challenges, including the management of inhibitors to factor therapies and the consequences of thousands of patients with hemophilia becoming infected with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus in the 1980s from contaminated plasma-derived factor concentrates, have highlighted the need for vigilance with respect to clotting factor product safety, access to care, and a full complement of choice of factor replacement therapies. Advate® (antihemophilic factor [recombinant] plasma/albumin-free method [rAHF-PFM]) is the first recombinant factor VIII therapy manufactured without human or animal protein additives to eliminate the risk of pathogen transmission that could be carried by these additives. Preclinical studies established bioequivalence with recombinant antihemophilic factor (Recombinate®), a product with 16 years of clinical experience. Currently licensed in 44 countries worldwide, rAHF-PFM has over 7 years of clinical research within 5 global studies supporting its safety and efficacy in the treatment of patients with hemophilia A.
PMCID: PMC2726050  PMID: 19707401
factor VIII; hemophilia A; recombinant proteins; clinical trials
24.  Osteo-Chondroprogenitor–Specific Deletion of the Selenocysteine tRNA Gene, Trsp, Leads to Chondronecrosis and Abnormal Skeletal Development: A Putative Model for Kashin-Beck Disease 
PLoS Genetics  2009;5(8):e1000616.
Kashin-Beck disease, a syndrome characterized by short stature, skeletal deformities, and arthropathy of multiple joints, is highly prevalent in specific regions of Asia. The disease has been postulated to result from a combination of different environmental factors, including contamination of barley by mold mycotoxins, iodine deficiency, presence of humic substances in drinking water, and, importantly, deficiency of selenium. This multifunctional trace element, in the form of selenocysteine, is essential for normal selenoprotein function, including attenuation of excessive oxidative stress, and for the control of redox-sensitive molecules involved in cell growth and differentiation. To investigate the effects of skeletal selenoprotein deficiency, a Cre recombinase transgenic mouse line was used to trigger Trsp gene deletions in osteo-chondroprogenitors. Trsp encodes selenocysteine tRNA[Ser]Sec, required for the incorporation of selenocysteine residues into selenoproteins. The mutant mice exhibited growth retardation, epiphyseal growth plate abnormalities, and delayed skeletal ossification, as well as marked chondronecrosis of articular, auricular, and tracheal cartilages. Phenotypically, the mice thus replicated a number of the pathological features of Kashin-Beck disease, supporting the notion that selenium deficiency is important to the development of this syndrome.
Author Summary
Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) is a severe, chronic, and deforming musculoskeletal disease affecting millions of individuals in specific regions of Asia. Starting in childhood, the disorder leads to joint and limb deformities, short stature, and delayed skeletal development. Articular cartilage damage due to chondronecrosis and limb deformities then lead to secondary osteoarthritis and severe disability. Factors proposed to cause KBD include selenium deficiency, iodine deficiency, contamination of grain with toxic molds, and humic substances in well water. Soil and water deficiency in selenium (and iodine) are a consistent feature of KBD endemic areas, and affected individuals show profound deficiencies of these two elements. Thus far, there have been no convincing rodent models of KBD based on selenium (and/or iodine) deficiency achieved through dietary manipulation. Our manuscript describes a conditional gene mutation approach in mice that, in effect, mimics severe selenium deficiency, achieving this specifically within skeletal progenitor cells. By deleting selenocysteine tRNA (required for normal selenoprotein activity) in osteo-chondroprogenitors, we found that mice develop post-natal impairment of skeletal growth, dwarfism, delayed ossification, impaired endochondral bone formation, as well as severe chondronecrosis. Our mutant mouse supports the idea that selenium deficiency is key to the skeletal pathology of KBD.
PMCID: PMC2721633  PMID: 19696890
25.  Hemophilia A in Brazil – epidemiology and treatment developments 
Journal of Blood Medicine  2014;5:175-184.
Hemophilia A is an inherited disorder characterized by deficiency of coagulation factor VIII, which predisposes patients to bleeding events. Treatment is based on replacement of the deficient factor, in a therapeutic or prophylactic manner. Brazil is the country with the third largest population of people with hemophilia, for which the public health system provides free comprehensive care. Maintaining an updated registry of patients, documenting the prevalence of complications, and assessing the effectiveness of resource use are indispensable elements in the design of a well-coordinated national program. According to sociodemographic, clinical, and laboratory data collected by the computerized Brazilian system on coagulopathies, in June 2013, there were 9,122 registered patients with hemophilia A in Brazil, of which 36.1% had a severe form of the disease. Clotting factor inhibitors were present in 7.5%, but 25.7% of records did not provide this type of data. Around 70% of the patients belonged to the economically active population, being between 15 and 59 years old. Infection by the human immunodeficiency virus was present in 23.4% of the patients tested and infection by hepatitis C virus antibodies in 59.3%. Infection by the hepatitis B virus and human T-lymphotropic virus was also reported. The high percentage of incomplete records regarding serological data shows the fragility of the information system to date. There was also no information available on the prevalence of permanent or disabling joint damage. Although few hemophiliacs receive adequate care in developing countries, and despite Brazil exhibiting great social inequalities, the Ministry of Health has made significant advances in the treatment of hemophilia A. The gradual increase in importation of factor VIII concentrate enabled the implementation of primary and secondary modalities of prophylaxis, in addition to the induction of immune tolerance. There are also plans to set up a factory in the country, to ensure Brazilian self-sufficiency in the production of blood products.
PMCID: PMC4183441  PMID: 25288890
cryoprecipitate; factor VIII; prophylaxis; comprehensive health care; health information system

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