A Case Report of the Efficacy of Apheresis for Refractory Autoimmune Thrombocytopenia in a Patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Associated Hemolytic Anemia

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Abstract

Autoantibodies against platelets are found in patients with autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura (AITP) as well as in thrombocytopenia associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The high titer of platelet associated immunoglobulin G (PA IgG) suggests the presence of antibodies against platelets. Platelet associated antibodies are thought to play a major role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thrombocytopenia. There is a possibility that double filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP) is effective in removing the antibodies against platelets from the peripheral blood. It is suggested that DFPP may reinforce the efforts of the conventional treatment, especially high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (IVIg). DFPP was performed for severe thrombocytopenia on a SLE patient with high PA IgG value, refractory to the conventional therapy including corticosteroid therapy and IVIg. The patient underwent three sessions of DFPP combined with IVIg and the corticosteroid therapy immediately before the initiation of IVIg. The severe thrombocytopenia improved drastically after the combination treatment, accompanied with the decrease of the PA IgG titer. It was suggested that DFPP combined with corticosteroid and IVIg was effective for severe autoimmune thrombocytopenia on SLE patients refractory to the conventional therapies.

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