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J Pediatr. 1988 Feb;112(2):284-90.

Plasma infusion for hemolytic-uremic syndrome in children: results of a multicenter controlled trial.

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  • 1Paediatric Department, University of Padova, Italy.


The results of a controlled trial to ascertain the usefulness of plasma infusion for the treatment of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) are reported. Criteria for admission were (1) observation within 8 days from first symptoms, (2) dialysis treatment required, and (3) no special treatments and no more than 25 ml blood/kg previously received. Children were subdivided according to age (less than or more than 3 years) and then randomly assigned to treatment with plasma or symptomatic therapy. Thirty-two children ranging in age from 4 months to 6 years entered this study; 17 received plasma (P+ group) and 15 only symptomatic therapy (P- group). The mean follow-up period was 16 months in both groups. Surgical renal biopsy was performed 29 to 49 days after onset in 11 P+ and 11 P- children, and 33 histologic findings were semiquantitatively evaluated. No death occurred in either group. No differences were found in blood pressure, proteinuria, or hematuria at the end of the follow-up period; in no case were severe arteriolar lesions found. There were no significant differences for the scores of the individual histologic measurements; on electron microscopy, no vascular changes were observed in seven children of the P+ group, whereas in five of seven of the P- group, thickening of the lamina rara interna and arteriolar damage were present. The ability of plasma to stimulate prostacyclin (PGI2) production, measured as its stable derivative 6-keto-PGF1 alpha, was within the normal range for all patients. In our patients with predominant glomerular involvement who were treated in a very early phase of HUS, infusions of plasma did not significantly influence the short- and medium-term clinical outcome and were not effective in severe HUS when given later in the course of the disease. A longer follow-up is needed to ascertain whether the presence of endothelial damage, demonstrated by electron microscopy in children who were not given plasma, is of clinical relevance.

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