Modern management of haemophilic arthropathy

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Currently available factor concentrates for treatment of patients with haemophilia are virally inactivated or are made by recombinant technology and their broad use in developed nations has resulted in the dramatic elimination of the treatment-related viral illnesses that decimated the haemophilia community in the late 20th century. The major morbidity experienced by patients with haemophilia today is joint disease, a result of repeated bleeding episodes into joint spaces. Although administration of factor concentrates to prevent bleeding has been demonstrated to prevent haemophilic joint disease when applied assiduously, repeated bleeding episodes induce synovitis that is irreversible and may progress despite subsequent prophylaxis. Surgical and nuclear medicine interventions are available to reduce the pain of haemophilic arthropathy and to reduce further bleeding episodes. Patients with high titre inhibitors are at great risk for the development of joint disease and present the greatest therapeutic challenges when joint surgery is needed.

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