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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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 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 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
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
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.
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.
Eighty-two boys with severe haemophilia A who spent some time at Lord Mayor Treloar College during 1973-7 were studied. All episodes of bleeding that occurred during term time were recorded, along with the number of transfusions. The bleeding frequency among these boys, most of them aged 10-17 years, increased steadily from 8,31 episodes/100 days in 1973 to 12,63 episodes/100 days in 1977. At the same time there was a steady fall in bleeding frequency with age. Altogether 24% of bleeding episodes were into the elbow joint, 22% into the knee, and 15% into the ankle. As the boys grew older the proportion of bleeding episodes in the legs declined and that in the arms increased. The overall results reflect the fact that special schools now see only the severest cases of haemophilia. The pattern of bleeding during adolescence suggests that concepts of management of arm bleeding need modifying.
A 47-year-old factor VIII deficient haemophiliac successfully underwent bilateral cataract extraction. The use of cryoprecipitates to achieve haemostasis permitted retrobulbar anaesthesia and a peripheral iridectomy without complication. We consider that the use of cryoprecipitated factor VIII concentrate allows safe elective ocular surgery in patients with classic haemophilia.
Although the use of a gene specific deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) probe is the method of choice for detecting carriers of genes for rare genetic disorders, there will always be families in which such probes cannot be used because key subjects are not informative for restriction fragment length polymorphisms in or around the gene. In these cases closely linked DNA markers have to be used. An X chromosome specific DNA probe, DX13, which is closely linked to the haemophilia A locus on the X chromosome, was used for early prenatal diagnosis in two cases and to detect carriers in a series of nine possible heterozygote women. The first reported crossover between DX13 and the factor VIII:C locus was observed in this study. There are complexities inherent in using any linked DNA probe for assignment of genes, but such techniques are clinically important.
Although it is widely appreciated that vigorous physical activity can increase the risk of bleeding episodes in children with haemophilia, the magnitude of the increase in risk is not known. Accurate risk estimates could inform decisions made by children with haemophilia and their parents about participation in physical activity and aid the development of optimal prophylactic schedules. The aim of this study is to provide an accurate estimate of the risks of bleeding associated with vigorous physical activity in children with haemophilia.
The study will be a case-crossover study nested within a prospective cohort study. Children with moderate or severe haemophilia A or B, recruited from two paediatric haematology departments in Australia, will participate in the study. The child, or the child's parent or guardian, will report bleeding episodes experienced over a 12-month period. Following a bleeding episode, the participant will be interviewed by telephone about exposures to physical activity in the case period (8 hours before the bleed) and 2 control periods (an 8 hour period at the same time on the day preceding the bleed and an 8 hour period two days preceding the bleed). Conditional logistic regression will be used to estimate the risk of participating in vigorous physical activity from measures of exposure to physical activity in the case and control periods.
This case-control study will provide estimates of the risk of participation in vigorous physical activity in children with haemophilia.
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
A case of Munchausen syndrome presented with both factitious trauma and factitious haemophilia. He was treated inappropriately with factor VIII concentrate before the history of the presenting complaint could be validated. Clinical suspicion remains the most important aid to diagnosis.
Of 30 children with bleeding disorders exposed to an index tuberculosis case, six developed primary pulmonary tuberculosis and two others became positive skin reactors. There was a significant correlation between the amount of replacement treatment received and the development of evidence of tuberculous infection. Only two of those who developed evidence of tuberculosis had antibodies to the human T cell lymphotropic virus. These two boys showed much later Mantoux positive conversion than the six others.
Spinal epidural hematomas (SEHs) are rare complications following spine surgery, especially for single level lumbar discectomies. The appropriate surgical management for such cases remains to be investigated. We report a case of an extensive spinal epidural hematoma from T11-L5 following a L3-L4 discectomy. The patient underwent a single level L4. A complete evacuation of the SEH resulted in the patient's full recovery. When presenting symptoms limited to the initial surgical site reveal an extensive postoperative SEH, we propose: to tailor the surgical exposure individually based on preoperative findings of the SEH; and to begin the surgical exposure with a limited laminectomy focused on the symptomatic levels that may allow an efficient evacuation of the SEH instead of a systematic extensive laminectomy based on imaging.
Epidural; Hematoma; Spine; Surgery; Management; Emergency; Postoperative
The purpose of this case report is to describe a rare case of a cervicothoracic spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) after anterior cervical spine surgery. A 60-year-old man complained of severe neck and arm pain 4 hours after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at the C5-6 level. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a postoperative SEH extending from C1 to T4. Direct hemostasis and drainage of loculated hematoma at the C5-6 level completely improved the patient's condition. When a patient complains of severe neck and/or arm pain after anterior cervical spinal surgery, though rare, the possibility of a postoperative SEH extending to non-decompressed, adjacent levels should be considered as with our case.
Cervical spine; Complication; Hematoma
Spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) causing acute myelopathy is rare. The usual clinical presentation of a SEH is sudden severe neck or back pain that progresses toward paraparesis or quadriparesis, depending on the level of the lesion. Recent studies have shown that early decompressive surgery is very important for patient's recovery. We experienced five patients of cervico-thoracic epidural hematomas associated with neurologic deficits that were treated successfully with surgical intervention.
Intraspinal; Epidural; Hematoma; Laminectomy
Plasma exchanges were combined with human factor VIII concentrate therapy in the treatment of major bleeding episodes in five patients with haemophilia A and factor VIII inhibitors. All patients had a good clinical response to combined treatment. Inhibitor levels showed satisfactory falls before rapid secondary increases of inhibitor levels took place. A sixth patient with von Willebrand's disease and a factor VIII clotting activity inhibitor was successfully prepared for operation using plasma exchange. Postoperative haemostasis and healing were normal. In two patients the plasma exchanges were relatively more effective than the administered human factor VIII in reducing the levels of factor VIII inhibitor. Combined plasma exchange and human factor VIII treatment may offer a rapidly effective means of reducing factor VIII inhibitor levels in this group of patients, together with significant saving of costs.