Hemolysis associated with 25% human albumin diluted with sterile water--United States, 1994-1998. (1/323)

Since 1994, a shortage of 5% human albumin, a product used off-label during therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), has existed in the United States. Because of this shortage, hospital pharmacists may prepare 5% solution of human albumin by diluting 25% human albumin with 0.9% NaCl or, when sodium load is a concern, 5% dextrose. However, if sterile water alone is used as the diluent, the osmolarity (tonicity) of the albumin solution is reduced and may cause hemolysis in recipients. This report describes two of 10 episodes of hemolysis (one fatal) among persons who received 25% human albumin diluted with sterile water and emphasizes that sterile water alone should not be used to dilute albumin.  (+info)

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and autoimmunity: a tale of shadows and suspects. (2/323)

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The key pathogenic feature of TTP is the formation of platelet aggregates within the microcirculation; however, the etiology of such aggregates has been elusive for years. A large amount of evidence points to an abnormal interaction between damaged vascular endothelium and platelets, although the cause of the primary microvascular endothelial cell injury is seldom clear. The autoimmune hypothesis often recurs, and this is based on a number of observations: the claimed superiority of plasma-exchange over plasma infusion, the anecdotal report of the presence of immunocomplexes and autoantibodies in TTP patients, the efficacy of the administration of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant agents, and the concomitant occurrence of TTP in association with autoimmune diseases, especially systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This review will focus on the complex relationships between TTP and humoral autoimmunity; in particular, similarities and differences between TTP, SLE and antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies syndrome, as well as the putative role of several other antibodies directed towards endothelial cells and/or platelets, including the recently discovered anti-CD36 antibodies and antivWF-cleaving metalloprotease, will be discussed. DESIGN AND METHODS: The authors have been involved in the study and treatment of TTP and autoimmune diseases for years; furthermore, the PubMed data base of the National Library of Congress has been extensively searched using the Internet. CONCLUSIONS: Although over the years evidence has increased in favor of the autoimmune hypothesis for TTP etiopathogenesis, TTP should not yet be considered an autoimmune disease. Autoantibodies should be regarded as only one of the many different insults which can trigger microvascular thrombosis even though the autoimmune theory of the pathogenesis of TTP is gaining more and more strength. As far as concerns the relationship between TTP, SLE and aPL antibodies-related disorders, these diseases should be distinguished on the basis of both different clinical presentations and accurate antibody screening, although this approach should definitely not delay the prompt start of treatment.  (+info)

Hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with immunoglobulin A nephropathy: a case report and review of cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome with glomerular disease. (3/323)

A 35-year-old man with immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) presented with transient elevation of serum creatinine, thrombocytopenia, and hemolytic anemia with fragmented red cells with nephrotic syndrome. Hemolytic anemia and the temporarily deteriorated renal function were improved after hemodialysis and plasma exchange. Histological findings were consistent with HUS and IgA nephropathy. Including this case, we reviewed the cases of HUS accompanied by glomerular diseases reported from 1969 to 1996. Surprisingly, most cases showed nephrotic syndrome at the onset of HUS. Several possible relationships between HUS and nephrotic syndrome are discussed.  (+info)

Recurrent focal glomerulosclerosis: natural course and treatment with plasma exchange. (4/323)

BACKGROUND: Focal glomerulosclerosis (FGS) can recur after renal transplantation and prognosis is poor in untreated patients. A circulating plasma factor has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a recurrent FGS and treatment with plasma exchange has proven effective in decreasing proteinuria in some patients. METHODS: We retrospectively studied the course of disease in patients with recurrent FGS, transplanted in our centre. Seven patients transplanted between 1991 and 1997, received treatment with plasma exchange, whereas 10 patients, transplanted between 1973 and 1991, were left untreated and served as historical controls. RESULTS: The time of onset of proteinuria (>3.5 g/day) was comparable in the untreated and treated patients (9 and 10 days respectively), as was the average proteinuria at that time (5.5 and 5.8 g/day respectively). In the untreated patients, proteinuria persisted and eventually all grafts were lost, on average 43 months after the diagnosis of a recurrence. In five cases (50%) the recurrence was the single cause of graft loss. The clinical course was different in the seven patients who were treated with plasma exchange. In five of these patients, the recurrence occurred within 3 weeks after transplantation. Plasma exchange was started 1-14 days after onset of proteinuria in these patients. Two lost their grafts after 0.7 and 1.0 months because of untreatable rejection. In the remaining three patients the plasma exchange resulted in abrupt disappearance of the proteinuria, and the response has been lasting for 2-3.2 years. In these patients the only histological abnormality was foot effacement on electron-microscopy. In two patients the recurrence became manifest at 9 weeks and 5.8 years after transplantation respectively. These two patients relapsed after the initial course of plasma exchange, but responded to repeated session, and are currently being treated once a month. They have been followed for 1. 7 and 1.4 years after the onset of proteinuria and their urinary protein levels are 0.23 and 1.2 g/10 mmol creatinine. CONCLUSIONS: The prognosis of untreated recurrent FGS is poor. Treatment with plasma exchange can lead to complete remission of proteinuria and relapsing patients may respond to repeated sessions. Best results are obtained when plasma exchange is started early, when there are no visible lesions on light-microscopy.  (+info)

Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome. (5/323)

The Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder characterised by defective neurotransmitter release at autonomic neurones and presynaptic terminals of the neuromuscular junction. It is caused by an IgG autoantibody formed against especially the P/Q type of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) which is an essential component of the mechanism of neurotransmitter release. Many patients have an associated small cell carcinoma of the lung which appears to provide the antigenic stimulus for antibody production, although there is another group with no underlying malignancy. Both groups show an association with immunological disorders. Assay of VGCC antibody titres and electrophysiological tests help to differentiate Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome from other disorders of the neuromuscular junction. Several drugs and therapeutic interventions capable of producing significant clinical improvement are currently available. Patients should also be investigated for underlying tumours, the specific treatment of which can result in remission or amelioration of symptoms.  (+info)

Plasma exchange as successful treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura post autologous bone marrow transplant in a child. (6/323)

We describe the case of a small child with stage IV neuroblastoma who developed thrombotic thromobocytopenic purpura (TTP) post autologous bone marrow transplant. Pneumococcal sepsis may have been the cause, a previously unreported association in transplant-associated TTP. Despite the child's size (10 kg) and the severity of the disease early intensive treatment with whole blood exchange and subsequently plasma exchange with cryosupernatant proved to be rapidly effective, in contrast to previous reports on its ineffectiveness in this setting.  (+info)

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura treatment in year 2000. (7/323)

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: For several decades clinicians worldwide considered TTP a severe and frustrating therapeutic problem. Fortunately, however, the prognosis of TTP patients has greatly benefited from the use of plasma manipulation techniques, particularly plasma-exchange (PE), so that the overall rate of complete responses currently ranges between 70-85% and may even exceed these figures. Despite this dramatic improvement, a number of questions remain concerning the best treatment for TTP patients. Analyzing acquired data and discussing future perspectives, this review will address the following key issues: is PE really the treatment of choice for TTP and what is the role of PE with cryosupernatant? what is the role of all the drugs which are commonly combined with PE, antiplatelet drugs and steroids in particular? what, if any, is the role of cytotoxic agents, especially vincristine? is there a treatment for PE-resistant patients? does secondary TTP need different treatments? DESIGN AND METHODS: The authors have been involved in the study and treatment of TTP for years; furthermore, they extensively searched the PubMed database of the National Library of Congress through the Internet. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: PE remains the treatment of choice for TTP. A large randomized trial now in progress will assess whether exchange with cryosupernatant plasma can improve treatment efficacy. The administration of antiplatelet drugs in combination with PE was fiercely debated over the past years but seems indicated both in acute TTP and as a prophylactic treatment to prevent relapses. It appears that steroids cannot be avoided, especially in light of the latest findings on TTP pathogenesis, but only specific trials will assess the optimal cortisone type and dose. Presently, different treatments can be suggested only to patients failing to respond to PE, while no specific therapy can be indicated for secondary TTP, which usually has a very poor prognosis. Finally, we would like to stress that only international co-operative (multicenter) trials on large series of patients will be able to shed light on a still obscure, if fascinating, disease. Our hope and wish is that the new century will see TTP among the diseases defeated by man's clever mind and heart.  (+info)

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura associated with clopidogrel. (8/323)

BACKGROUND: The antiplatelet drug clopidogrel is a new thienopyridine derivative whose mechanism of action and chemical structure are similar to those of ticlopidine. The estimated incidence of ticlopidine-associated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura is 1 per 1600 to 5000 patients treated, whereas no clopidogrel-associated cases were observed among 20,000 closely monitored patients treated in phase 3 clinical trials and cohort studies. Because of the association between ticlopidine use and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and other adverse effects, clopidogrel has largely replaced ticlopidine in clinical practice. More than 3 million patients have received clopidogrel. We report the clinical and laboratory findings in 11 patients in whom thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura developed during or soon after treatment with clopidogrel. METHODS: The 11 patients were identified by active surveillance by the medical directors of blood banks (3 patients), hematologists (6), and the manufacturer of clopidogrel (2). RESULTS: Ten of the 11 patients received clopidogrel for 14 days or less before the onset of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Although 10 of the 11 patients had a response to plasma exchange, 2 required 20 or more exchanges before clinical improvement occurred, and 2 had relapses while not receiving clopidogrel. One patient died despite undergoing plasma exchange soon after diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura can occur after the initiation of clopidogrel therapy, often within the first two weeks of treatment. Physicians should be aware of the possibility of this syndrome when initiating clopidogrel treatment.  (+info)