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Pediatr Nephrol. 2011 Aug;26(8):1325-9. doi: 10.1007/s00467-011-1879-9. Epub 2011 May 10.

Prophylactic eculizumab prior to kidney transplantation for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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University Children's Hospital Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.


Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) in childhood is a rare disease associated with high morbidity and mortality. Most cases progress to end-stage renal failure. In approximately 50% of affected patients, mutations in genes encoding complement proteins are causative of the impairment in the regulation of the complement alternative pathway. This leads to deficient host cell protection and inappropriate complement activation on platelets and endothelial cells, particularly in the kidneys. Complement factor H (FH) heterozygosity induces unregulated activation of the membrane attack complex (MAC) C5b-9. Present therapeutic strategies for aHUS include lifelong plasmapheresis and renal dialysis. Unfortunately, kidney transplantation is frequently an unsatisfactory intervention due to the high rate of post-transplantation HUS recurrence, particularly in patients with FH mutation. Combined liver-kidney transplantation is also associated with poor outcome, mostly as a result of premature liver failure secondary to uncontrolled complement activation. Eculizumab is a complement C5 antibody that inhibits complement factor 5a (C5a) and the formation of the MAC. Thus, this antibody may be a promising new agent for patients with an aHUS undergoing kidney transplantation. We present the first case of a young patient with aHUS who received eculizumab as prophylactic treatment prior to a successful kidney transplantation.

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