HELLP syndrome and hemolytic uremic syndrome during pregnancy: two disease entities, same causation. Case report and literature review

Abstract

Abstract

Thrombotic microangiopathies (TMA) are a group of diseases that can complicate pregnancy and threaten the lives of both the mother and the fetus. Several conditions can lead to TMA, including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), HELLP syndrome and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). We describe the case of a 39-year-old woman who presented a HELLP syndrome in the immediate postpartum period. The patient had acute kidney injury (AKI), increased LDH, unmeasurable haptoglobin levels and hypocomplementemia. Her ADAMTS13 value was normal, thus ruling out TTP. Shiga toxin tests were negative, so HUS associated with E. coli was also ruled out. HELLP syndrome and atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome (aHUS) remained the most probable diagnosis. In the days following childbirth, the patient’s transaminase and bilirubin levels normalized while the anemia persisted, as did the AKI, resulting in the institution of dialysis treatment. A diagnosis of aHUS was made and therapy with eculizumab was started. The patient’s blood counts progressively improved, urine output was restored, her indices of renal function also concomitantly improved and dialysis was interrupted. A rash appeared after the third administration of eculizumab and the treatment was suspended. The patient is currently being followed up and has not relapsed. At thirteen months after delivery her renal function is normal as are her platelet counts, LDH, haptoglobin levels and proteinuria. Tests for mutations in the genes that regulate complement activity were negative. We believe that childbirth triggered the HELLP syndrome, which in turn brought about and sustained the HUS. In fact, the patient’s liver function improved right after delivery, while her kidney injury and hemolysis persisted, and she also had an excellent response to eculizumab. To our knowledge, no other cases of HELLP syndrome associated with haemolytic uremic syndrome during pregnancy have been reported in literature, nor have cases in which treatment with eculizumab was limited to only three administrations.

Keywords: HELLP syndrome, hemolytic uremic syndrome, pregnancy, eculizumab, thrombotic microangiopathy

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome: experience of a pediatric center

Abstract

In the last two years we admitted in our Hospital  38 children with acute renal failure (ARF). Six of them were affected by hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) atypical. The aHUS is diagnosed in the presence of thrombotic microangiopathy (MAT), renal insufficiency (GFR 5%).

The clinical presentation of our children has been varied and so also its evolution. Patients observed were all male, aged 2 to 12 years, and no one had a family history of kidney disease. In four patients we documented alterations of complement factors (MCP deficiency and factor H and presence of anti factor H). Repeated blood transfusions were required in 4 patients and in 3 patients the platelet count was slightly reduced. In 5 patients we did plasmapheresis and in 3 patients dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis). In three patients in whom the diagnosis was not clear, renal biopsy was performed to confirm the diagnosis. Eculizumab was administered in 3 patients resistant to plasma exchange. We obtain a rapid response on MAT with normalization of platelet count. The effect on renal function was variable (complete remission in a patient, partial improvement in another, and unresponsiveness in the last). The last had on Kidney biopsy signs of severe impairment and we documented the presence of antibodies to eculizumab. HUS is a rare condition, but probably much more common than reported. In children with ARF and microangiopathic anemia is necessary evaluated  complement factors as early to obtain an improved clinical response to treatment with eculizumab.

Keywords: atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, acute renal failure, pediatric, eculizumab.

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.