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Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2011;2011:15-20. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2011.1.15.

Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, genetic basis, and clinical manifestations.

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Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.


Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is now well recognized to be a disease characterized by excessive complement activation in the microvasculature. In both the familial and sporadic forms, inherited and acquired abnormalities affecting components of the alternative complement pathway are found in ~ 60% of patients. These include mutations in the genes encoding both complement regulators (factor H, factor I, membrane cofactor protein, and thrombomodulin) and activators (factors B and C3) and autoantibodies against factor H. Multiple hits are necessary for the disease to manifest, including a trigger, mutations, and at-risk haplotypes in complement genes. The prognosis for aHUS is poor, with most patients developing end-stage renal failure. Renal transplantation in most patients also has a poor prognosis, with frequent loss of the allograft to recurrent disease. However, improving results with combined liver-kidney transplantation and the advent of complement inhibitors such as eculizumab offer hope that the prognosis for aHUS will improve in future years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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