Acquired haemophilia A is a rare life- and limb-threatening bleeding disorder if left untreated. Autoimmune thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that can be rarely associated with acquired haemophilia. Here we report a case of a 60-year-old woman presenting with cutaneous and muscle haematomas secondary to acquired haemophilia A in association with autoimmune thyroiditis, who was successfully treated with recombinant activated factor VII and immunosuppression.
A 60-year-old Sri Lankan woman with a background of longstanding hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and bronchial asthma developed spontaneous cutaneous purpura and a limb-threatening intramuscular haematoma. Initial coagulation screening revealed prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time of 66.4 seconds (normal range 26 to -36 seconds) and time-dependent inhibitors against factor VIII. She had positive antinuclear antibody and antithyroid peroxidase (microsomal) antibody titre of over 1/80 and 1000IU/mL respectively. The diagnosis was therefore made of acquired haemophilia A in association with autoimmune thyroiditis. Acute limb-threatening bleeding was managed with recombinant activated factor VII (NovoSeven®). Immunosuppressive treatment consisting of oral prednisone 60mg/day and cyclophosphamide 100mg/day was administered in order to remove the factor VIII inhibitor. This treatment led to normalisation of her haemostatic parameters. This case illustrates a very rare association of acquired haemophilia and autoimmune thyroiditis as well as the importance of considering acquired haemophilia as a differential diagnosis of spontaneous bleeding.
Acquired haemophilia should be considered in the differential diagnosis of unexplained bleeding in adults. Treatment of the acute coagulopathy with recombinant activated factor VII and immunosuppressive therapy was successful in this case.
Acquired haemophilia; Autoimmune thyroiditis; Bypassing agents; Factor VIII inhibitors; Haemophilia A; Immunosuppression
Iliopsoas pseudotumour is a serious complication of haemophilia. We present the case of a 20-year-old male patient with a six-month history of left leg weakness, limitation of movement and wasting of the muscles. Clinically he was diagnosed as having a psoas muscle rhabdomyosarcoma. During a computed tomography (CT) scan-guided Tru-cut biopsy he developed a serious and life-threatening bleeding from a retroperitoneal muscular haematoma. The patient underwent laparotomy prior to his final diagnosis of an Iliopsoas pseudotumour, which is a serious, as well as rare, complication of haemophilia.
Acquired haemophilia A (AHA) is a rare and serious disorder mainly affecting elderly patients. It is caused by the production of autoantibodies directed against coagulation factors; patients present with spontaneous bleeding, potentially fatal, in the absence of familial or personal history. Autoimmune disorders, infections, solid and hematologic tumors, and drugs are predisposing factors, but up to 50 percent of cases remain unexplained. The diagnosis of AHA is confirmed by specific laboratory tests; and the therapy is a clinical challenge, due to the fact that older patients are often affected by comorbidities. By passing agents may be used when persistent bleeding or haemodynamic instability is observed; corticosteroids, alone or with immunosuppressive therapy, are necessary to inhibit the production of the autoantibodies. We describe a case in which steroids in monotherapy successfully, safely, and persistently inhibited the production of anti-Factor VIII antibodies, in an old patient admitted after rheumatologic consult.
The authors present the case of a 72-year-old patient who presented with severe dyspnoea, scant haemoptysis, pronounced desaturation and bilateral haematomas on the upper limbs. Chest radiography showed bilateral infiltrates mainly in the lower lobes. The patient’s prothrombin time, and platelet count were normal. However, the activated partial thromboplastin time showed a prolongation that was not reversed on a correction study. Factor VIII (FVIII) levels were very low and evidence of FVIII inhibitor was found. The patient had started taking ivabradine 2 months earlier, and the diagnosis of idiosyncratic acquired haemophilia was established. The patient was treated with volume expansion therapy, high levels of oxygen, multiple transfusions, methylprednisolone, desmopressine and rituximab. On the 3rd day, the patient showed progressive amelioration of his dyspnoea, oxygen needs and chest infiltrates. On the 7th day, the patient was discharged.
Haemophilia A is a rare genetic condition leading to coagulation factor VIII deficiency and thus predisposing to bleeding diathesis. Due to advances in treatment, life expectancy of haemophilia A sufferers is increasing, and the incidence and prevalence of coronary artery disease are rising. There have been many reported cases of acute myocardial infarction in such patients, who subsequently undergo elective percutaneous coronary intervention. We present the case of a 55-year-old gentleman presenting with an acute anterior full-thickness myocardial infarction who required emergency primary percutaneous coronary intervention.
Acquired hemophilia A (AHA) is a very rare disease, caused by the development of autoantibodies, directed against circulating factor VIII of coagulation. Age distribution is bimodal, with a first peak occurring among young women in the postpartum period, and a second major peak of incidence among elderly patients in whom it is frequently associated with malignancy and drugs. This disease often represents a life-threatening bleeding condition, especially in the elderly, thus requiring a prompt therapeutic intervention, including control of acute bleeding and eradication of the inhibitor by immunosuppressive therapy. The diagnosis of AHA should be considered in any elderly patient who presents with bleeding and prolonged activated Partial Thromboplastin Time. Moreover, the coexistence of a series of underlying diseases associated with AHA should be always searched for. An early recognition and an adequate treatment of this coagulation disorder and of the possible associated diseases play a significant role for a favourable outcome, but concomitant morbidities in the elderly may limit aggressive therapy and may complicate the clinical scenario.
We report 3 consecutive elderly patients successfully treated with recombinant activated factor VII and standard immunosuppressive regimens, with remission of the disease.
Although the nature of haemophilia has been understood for thousands of years, knowledge of its molecular genetics is recent. These X-linked bleeding disorders have diverse underlying DNA defects and, in 1992, DNA inversion within the X chromosome was found to explain half of the most serious cases of haemophilia A. The life-span and quality-of-life for patients with haemophilia had improved steadily throughout the early 1980s but the principal cause of death remained intracranial haemorrhage until the epidemic of HIV infection due to contaminated factor concentrates. Infection with hepatitis C virus is almost universal for patients treated with clotting factors before 1985. No curative treatment is available for hepatitis C at present. Knowledge of the transmission of viruses in concentrates has led to important developments in processing techniques to eliminate them. Recombinant technology has produced factor VIII and, more recently, factor IX concentrate which is likely to be very safe. Development of inhibitors to factor concentrates (especially factor VIII) remains one of the most serious complications of haemophilia. The variety of treatments available testifies to the lack of a single universally efficacious one. The use of prophylactic treatment has been conclusively demonstrated to result in a preservation of joint function in severely affected patients who might otherwise develop significant joint problems. The many facets of the care of patients with severe haemophilia, ranging from dental care to genetic counselling, can be advantageously co-ordinated in a haemophilia comprehensive care centre.
Acquired haemophilia A and severe acquired achalasia are both very rare conditions with unknown aetiology. Haemophilia A is a haemorrhagic disease induced by deficiency or malfunction of coagulation factor VIII. Congenital haemophilia is an inherited disease transmitted by the mother through X-linked inheritance and primarily affects males. However, acquired haemophilia A is a serious, sudden-onset, autoimmune disease that affects either sex. In addition, achalasia is a disease of the oesophagus caused by abnormal function of the nerves and muscles. It causes swallowing difficulties due to the inability of the lower oesophageal sphincter to relax during swallowing, leading to dysphagia, regurgitation and chest pain. In this report, we describe the case of a patient with severe, newly diagnosed, acquired haemophilia A with long-standing, recurrent achalasia; the achalasia had recurred 3 times despite complete and proper surgical fixation. Acquired haemophilia A is treated with immunosuppressive therapy. High-dose steroid therapy was administered for 7 months, during which the patient responded well; moreover, the achalasia did not recur for more than 2 years. The response of the achalasia to immunosuppressive therapy suggests that achalasia may be an autoimmune disorder and that there may be an association between both diseases. The findings of the present case suggest that achalasia may favourably respond to steroid therapy as a first-line treatment prior to surgery.
Recurrent achalasia cardia; Autoimmune acquired haemophilia; Cross-reacting autoantibodies
Spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) represents the most frequent entity of acute or chronic spinal bleeding. Based upon pathogenesis, SEH can be classified as idiopathic, spontaneous, and secondary. The idiopathic forms are considered not to be attributed to any specific risk factors. Spontaneous SEH, accounting for 0.3–0.9% of all spinal epidural space occupying lesions, instead is associated with risk factors (such as substantial soft trauma or coagulation abnormalities). The chronic form, as our literature review revealed, is the rarest and its most frequent location is the lumbar spine. The pathophysiology of spontaneous and idiopathic SEH is still under debate: There are only a few reports in literature of chronically evolving SEH with progressively increasing pain and neurological impairment. Magnetic resonance imaging may be inconclusive for differential diagnosis. Here, we present two cases of lumbar chronic SEH with slow, progressive, and persistent lumbar radicular impairment. The first patient reported a minor trauma with slight back contusion and thus was classified as spontaneous SEH. In the second case not even a minor trauma was involved, so we considered it to be idiopathic SEH. In both cases preoperative blood and coagulation tests were normal and we did not find any other or co-factors in the patients’ clinical histories. MR imaging showed uncertain spinal canal obstructing lesions at L3 and L4 level in both cases. Surgical treatment allowed a correct diagnosis and resulted in full clinical and neuroradiological recovery after 1 year follow-up. Our aim is to discuss pathogenesis, clinical and radiological features, differential diagnosis and treatment options, on the background of relevant literature review.
Spontaneous; Idiopathic; Chronic; Hematoma; Epidural; Spinal
A severely affected haemophilic boy became tetraparetic as a result of a spontaneously occurring intraspinal haematoma. Myelography defined the extent of the lesion and showed it to be extradural in site. Infusion of large doses of factor VIII concentrate led to dramatic improvement and avoided the need to operate.
Although postoperative spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) is not uncommon, hematomas that require surgery are rare. Cauda equina syndrome (CES) may be associated with postoperative SEH. In these cases, early recognition and emergency decompression can prevent further damage and better neurologic recovery.
A 41-year-old man underwent two-level discectomy with insertion of an interspinous spacer at L3-4 and L4-5 because of low back pain and radiculopathy. Eight hours after the operation, the patient developed CES. MRI revealed SEH compressing posteriorly at the L3-4 level. On emergency decompression and hematoma evacuation, the interspinous spacer had obstructed the laminotomy site at L3-4 completely, blocking drainage to the drain. The patient experienced complete neurologic recovery by 2 months followup.
Many studies report risk factors for SEH. However, postoperative SEH can also be encountered in patients without these risks. One study reported a critical ratio (preoperative versus postoperative cross-sectional area) correlated with postoperative symptoms, especially in those with CES. The propensity to develop CES is likely dependent on a number of patient-specific factors.
Surgeons should be aware that patients without risk factors may develop acute CES. Wider laminotomy (larger than half of the device size) may help to prevent this complication when one uses the compressible type of device, especially in patients with relatively small lamina.
Acquired haemophilia is a rare autoimmune disorder caused by autoantibodies directed in the majority of the cases against clotting factor VIII. This disorder is characterised by the sudden onset of bleeding that not rarely may be life-threatening and need transfusion support. Most reports on this condition describe the need for blood transfusions during the acute, haemorrhagic phase, but the number of transfused red cell units is often unknown.
Patients and methods
In the last 5 years, 14 patients with acquired haemophilia A were identified in the transfusion and haemophilia centres of Verona and Castelfranco Veneto. The transfusion support for these 14 patients was analyzed in this retrospective survey.
The 14 patients required a total of 183 red cell units. The average transfusion requirement was 13 red cells units/patient, with a range from 0 to 38 units.
Eleven of the 14 patients studied needed strong transfusion support to enable any further management of the haemorrhages, as well as for eradication treatment of the autoantibodies to factor VIII. A relevant part of the management of haemorrhagic symptoms as well as the first choice for any further treatment (bleeding or the cure of the underlying disease) is transfusion of red blood cells.
acquired haemophilia; transfusions; autoantibodies; anti-FVIII
Objectives: Patients with inherited bleeding disorders are at high risk of bleeding following oral surgery and present challenges to the oral surgeons. Aim of this study was to report our experience in dental extraction in patients exhibiting Haemophilia A and B between 2007 and 2012.
Patient and Methods: 58 dental extractions in 15 patients during 19 interventions were performed. Replacement therapy with recombinant and plasma-derived factor VIII and IX was applied systematically in combination with antifibrinolytic treatment and local haemostatic measures. The following data were recorded: type of surgery, applied local haemostatic measures, general substitution, systemic antifibrinolytic agents and occurrence of postoperative bleeding complications.
Results: Two patients presented postoperative bleeding. One had secondary bleeding requiring additional injection of factor concentrates. The other one presented epistaxis which was managed conservatively with a nasal tamponade.
Conclusions: Excellent haemostasis is achievable after dental extractions in patients with Haemophilia A and B by following a protocol using defined pre- and postoperative doses of factor concentrates in combination with haemostatic measures.
Key words:Antifibrinolytic treatment, dental extraction, Haemophilia, inherited bleeding disorders, local haemostatic measures.
Liver biopsies were performed in 5 boys aged between 2 and 9 years with severe classical haemophilia who had persistently abnormal liver function tests. Abnormal histology was present in all; 4 had chronic persistent hepatitis and the fifth chronic aggressive hepatitis with early cirrhosis. Evidence of previous hepatitis B infection was present in one patient, 3 had antibodies to hepatitis, A, and 2 had subnormal levels of alpha-1-antitrypsin. Haemobilia occurred as a late complication of biopsy in one. The significance of these findings in young boys is discussed, as is the role of exposure to factor VIII containing blood products. It is concluded that cryoprecipitate should be used in preference to large pool factor VIII concentrates in children with haemophilia.
Haemophilia A is a rare inherited bleeding disorder characterized by an inability of the blood to clot normally. Patients can experience spontaneous or trauma-induced joint and soft tissue bleeding and must keep coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) accessible at all times; thus, FVIII product storage and stability are critical. Our primary objective was to assess haemophilia A patients' and caregivers' experiences and preferences with FVIII product storage and stability. A secondary objective was to evaluate the use of the social media site Facebook in recruitment. In this cross-sectional study, 145 English-speaking adult patients and caregivers of children with haemophilia A were recruited through two state-based haemophilia organizations in the United States (US) and one national organization in Canada for a web-based survey assessing demographics and FVIII product ordering, usage, and storage practices. Of the 101 individuals who completed the survey, 60% resided in Canada; 57% were recruited through Facebook. Caregivers and patients responded similarly to questions about ordering practices and product usage, with some distinction between groups in storage practices. Two-thirds of participants noted challenges with storing FVIII products, especially storage away from home. More than half preferred storing FVIII products at room temperature vs. in the refrigerator for long periods of time. FVIII product accessibility, usage and storage affect disease management. Results support the need for more convenient and accessible FVIII products for patients in daily life and while travelling. In addition, the use of social media has potential value in recruiting this population.
factor ordering; factor stability; factor storage; factor VIII products; haemophilia; patient and caregiver survey
Haemophilia A is an X linked bleeding disorder caused by a heterogeneous spectrum of mutations in the factor VIII gene. It has recently been reported that about 50% of severe haemophilia A cases are the result of an iversion in the factor VIII gene. The inversion results from homologous recombination between the A gene located in intron 22 of the FVIII gene and one of the two distal A genes, thus disrupting the coding sequence of the factor VIII gene. The inversion can be detected by conventional Southern blotting and hybridisation techniques. Here we present an analysis of 177 unrelated Dutch haemophilia A cases for the presence of an inversion. In 57% of the patients with severe disease an inversion was found and also in at least one of the 26 patients with moderately severe disease. The majority of inversions (85%) involved the most distal A gene, while in a minority (15%) the more proximal A gene was involved. We show that direct mutation detection greatly improves the assessment of carrier status and prenatal diagnosis for haemophilia A, especially in families with an isolated patient. The inversion is predominantly of grandpaternal origin.
A 47 year old woman is reported who had life-threatening bleeding due to the spontaneous development of factor VIII:C inhibitor. Cyclosporin combined with prednisone resulted in a full recovery and complete elimination of antibody even when other therapeutic facilities failed to be effective.
The natural history of inhibitors in patients with haemophilia A not undergoing immune tolerance induction (ITI) is largely unknown. A recent randomized controlled trial suggests that the higher the FVIII dose used for ITI, the faster the clearance and the lower the rate of bleeding, without any difference in the rate of tolerance. We aimed at assessing the rate of spontaneous inhibitor clearance in a large cohort of patients not undergoing ITI.
A retrospective analysis of anti-FVIII inhibitors of long-term registry data in a single centre cohort of 524 haemophilia A patients considered for synovectomy was performed. Patients were tested for inhibitors before and 15 days after any and each surgical episode and thereafter did not undergo immune tolerance at any time.
The cumulative incidence of inhibitors overall was 34% (180 out of 524) with the highest percentage of 39% (168 out of 434) in severe patients which represented 83% of the cohort. Among the 180 inhibitor patients: 63 had permanent inhibitors; 70 fulfilled current criteria for transient inhibitors but a third category of 47 additional patients cleared the alloantibody spontaneously in >6 months. At logistic regression, both the inhibitor titre and the gene mutation were shown to predict time to clearance.
Spontaneous clearance of inhibitors over variable time in the absence of ITI treatment was found in up to 2/3 of the cases.
Hemophilia A; Inhibitors; ITI
Acquired haemophilia is rare and potentially fatal, with a mortality of 20% if left untreated. There is a strong association with other autoimmune diseases. This report describes a patient with rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, and bullous pemphigoid where the diagnosis of acquired haemophilia was made after an extensive bleed into a bullous lesion in the buccal mucosa. This case highlights some of the potential complications of acquired haemophilia and its treatment.
acquired haemophilia; bullous pemphigoid; buccal haematoma; factor VIII inhibitor concentration; factor eight inhibitor bypassing activity (FEIBA)
Spinal epidural haematomas (SEH) is a potentially reversible cause of spinal cord and nerve root compression which needs prompt surgical decompression for satisfactory neurological recovery. SEH occurs very rarely in pregnant woman with HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme levels, and low platelet levels). Most of the SEH cases reported in HELLP syndrome in the literature are due to iatrogenic interventions. We report a still rarer case of non traumatic spinal epidural haematoma in a pregnant woman with HELLP Syndrome.
HELLP syndrome; Non traumatic; Spinal epidural haematoma
Dogs with haemophilia A or haemophilia B exhibit spontaneous bleeding comparable with the spontaneous bleeding phenotype that occurs in humans with severe haemophilia. The phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of haemophilic dogs have been well-described, and such dogs are suitable for testing prophylactic protein replacement therapy and gene transfer strategies. In dogs with haemophilia, long-term effects on spontaneous bleeding frequency (measured over years) can be used as an efficacy endpoint in such studies. Although complete correction of coagulopathy has not been achieved, published data show that prophylactic factor replacement therapy and gene transfer can markedly reduce the frequency of spontaneous bleeding in haemophilic dogs. Further studies are currently ongoing.
dogs; haemophilia A; haemophilia B; spontaneous bleeding
Individuals with haemophilia A exhibit bleeding tendencies that are not always predicted by their factor (f)VIII level. It has been suggested that bleeding in haemophilia is due not only to defective prothrombin activation but also aberrant fibrinolysis. Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) activation was measured in tissue factor (Tf)-initiated blood coagulation in blood samples of 28 haemophiliacs and 5 controls. Reactions were quenched over time with FPRck and citrate and assayed for TAFIa and thrombin-antithrombin (TAT). The TAFIa potential (TP), TAFI activation rate and the TAFIa level at 20 minutes (TAFIa20min) was extracted from the TAFI activation progress curve. In general, the time course of TAFI activation follows thrombin generation regardless of fVIII activity and as expected the rate of TAFI activation and TP decreases as fVIII decreases. The magnitude of TP was similar among the control subjects and subjects with < 11% fVIII. In severe subjects with < 1% fVIII at the time of blood collection, the TAFIa20min was inversely and significantly correlated with hemarthrosis (-0.77, p=0.03) and total bleeds (-0.75, p=0.03). In all cases, TAFIa20min was more strongly correlated with bleeding than TAT levels at 20 minutes. Overall, this study shows that TAFI activation in whole blood can be quantified and related to the clinical bleeding phenotype. Measuring TAFIa along with thrombin generation can potentially be useful to evaluate the differential bleeding phenotype in haemophilia A.
TAFIa; haemophilia A; factor VIII; bleeding score; thrombin generation; carboxypeptidase U
Type and quantity of replacement treatment, together with haematological and immunological parameters were determined in 37 boys with severe haemophilia A and 41 children with other bleeding disorders. The quantity of factor VIII concentrate given to boys with severe haemophilia A (mean U/year) showed a significant inverse correlation with total white cell counts, lymphocyte counts, platelet counts, and the ratio of monoclonal antibody defined T lymphocyte subsets, T4 and T8 (T4:T8). Of the boys with severe haemophilia A, 49% had inversed T4:T8 ratios and 24% had thrombocytopenia. Treatment with high dose factor VIII concentrate (more than 25 000 U/year) was associated with low platelet counts, low lymphocyte counts, low T4:T8 ratios, and hypergammaglobulinaemia. In addition, six patients with severe haemophilia A and factor VIII inhibitors had inversed T4:T8 ratios. Patients treated exclusively with cryoprecipitate or prothrombin complex concentrates had normal T4:T8 ratios and platelet counts. The severity of the haematological and immunological abnormalities observed seems to be associated with high usage of factor VIII concentrates. Similar abnormalities have been described in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Prospective study of haemophiliacs is required to assess long term sequelae of factor concentrate usage, including the possible development of AIDS.
Moderate haemophilia is the rarest form of haemophilia. This study aims to assess short- and long-term outcome, including its association with treatment, in patients with moderate haemophilia.
Material and methods
Seventy-five patients with moderate haemophilia (1–5% factor VIII/ factor IX activity), without a history of inhibitors, treated at the van Creveldkliniek, Utrecht (NL) were included in the study. Life-long data on bleeding and treatment were collected. Joints were evaluated using the Haemophilia Joint Health Score. Adults completed questionnaires on activity (HAL) and quality of life (SF-36, EQ5D).
The median age of the patients was 37 years (IQR 23–52 years) and haemophilia A was diagnosed in 89%. Bleeding frequency was low: the median annual bleeding rate was 2.0 bleeds/ year (IQR 0.8–3.7 bleeds/year), including a median of 0 joint bleeds/year (IQR 0.8–3.7 bleeds/year). Joint function was good: 82% scored <10 out of 126 points of the Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS). Nevertheless, 29% of patients with moderate haemophilia had a history of prophylaxis, because of a high bleeding frequency. Median age at first joint bleed was 4.8 years (IQR 3.5–8.5). Use of prophylaxis was more associated with age at first joint bleed (P <0.01) than with baseline factor activity (P =0.12). Most patients (52%) who suffered their first joint bleed before the age of 5 years required prophylaxis later in life.
The majority of patients with moderate haemophilia have few bleeds and complications; however, a considerable subset of patients with a more severe bleeding pattern need prophylactic treatment. These latter patients may be identified by the onset of joint bleeding before the age of 5 years.
moderate haemophilia; HJHS; physical activity; joint bleed
A 5 year old female child presented with a psoas haematoma as the first manifestation of haemophilia B. Molecular genetic studies were performed to investigate the inheritance of the disorder and the mechanisms by which females may express the haemophilia B phenotype are discussed.