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American Journal of Kidney Diseases

Eculizumab in the Treatment of Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Infants

Published:December 26, 2011DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.11.027
      A 28-day-old male newborn weighing 3.6 kg was given a diagnosis of atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome, new-onset thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA; hemoglobin, 7.7 g/dL; schistocytes, 9%), thrombocytopenia (platelets, 49 × 103/μL [49 × 109/L]), and acute kidney failure (serum creatinine, 1.13 mg/dL [99.8 μmol/L], corresponding to estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] of 15 mL/min/1.73 m2 [0.25 mL/s/1.73 m2]). Repeated high-volume plasma infusions were ineffective. Plasma exchange was attempted, but not tolerated. The patient required mechanical ventilation and continuous renal replacement therapy. He developed multiple intestinal perforations and leg skin necrosis due to systemic TMA. A low C3 level (36 mg/dL) suggested complement activation. Eculizumab, 300 mg, was administered, and within 48 hours the patient recovered from acute kidney failure, with complete hematologic remission 2 weeks later. The infant, 14 months old at the time of writing, continues to receive eculizumab, 300 mg, every 3 weeks; he is free of disease activity and has a normal creatinine level of 0.2 mg/dL (17.68 μmol/L; corresponding to eGFR of 110 mL/min/1.73 m2 [1.83 mL/s/1.73 m2]), but mild proteinuria (urinary protein-creatine ratio, 1 mg/g). Results of additional studies, including probing for cobalamin anomalies and measuring levels of ADAMTS13, complement factor H (CFH), factor I (CFI), and membrane cofactor protein (MCP), were unremarkable. Antibodies to CFH were undetectable, and mutation testing of the genes for CFH, CFI, and MCP gave negative results. Treatment with eculizumab was life saving, and with continued treatment, the patient showed sustained freedom from clinical TMA complications.

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