Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Requirement for etoposide in the treatment of pregnancy related hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis: a multicenter retrospective study
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases201914:50
© The Author(s). 2019
- Published: 18 February 2019
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare severe clinical syndrome. HLH manifesting during pregnancy has been paid much attention in recent years. Despite the specificity of pregnancy-related HLH, there has not been any consensus regarding its treatment. According to a previous study, corticosteroid/IVIG is the mainstream therapy; however, the efficacy is controversial. Etoposide is an important agent in the HLH-94 regimen; nevertheless, its use is limited because of possible toxicity to the fetus. Methods: In this study, we summarized 13 cases from 4 medical institutions from April 2011 to April 2018. Treatment regimens and outcomes were observed.
The median age was 26 (20–36) years old. The median gestational age was 28 (10–35) weeks. In these 13 patients, 10 were treated with methylprednisolone/IVIG and was effective in only two patients. In 6 patients who used etoposide during their treatment, all achieved remission. The median time from onset of disease to use of etoposide was 36 (17–131) days. Five of these 6 patients were treated with corticosteroids with/without IVIG before etoposide. One patient with pulmonary tuberculosis and one with lymphoma were treated according to etiology and achieved long survival.
For treatment of pregnancy-related HLH, particularly for patients who do not respond to corticosteroids/IVIG therapy, etoposide should be used bravely. Nevertheless, suitable dosages and toxic and side-effects require further clinical observation.
- Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
- Treatment option