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Hippokratia. 2013 Jan;17(1):81-4.

Treatment of a patient with classical paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and Budd-Chiari syndrome, with complement inhibitor eculizumab: Case Report.

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Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Hippokratio Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece.



Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare acquired clonal disorder of hematopoietic stem cells involving all blood cells. Erythrocytes have increased susceptibility to complement-mediated haemolysis. Thrombosis is the leading cause of mortality and follows episodes of acute hemolysis. Eculizumab, a monoclonal antibody blocking activation of complement C5 is currently used in the treatment of PNH. Recent results demonstrated that eculizumab effectively reduces thrombosis. Description of case. We present a 30-year-old male patient admitted with abdominal and lumbar pain. Thorough investigation revealed severe hemolytic anemia requiring transfusions and hepatosplenomegaly. Imaging findings were compatible with a Budd-Chiari syndrome. Flow cytometry confirmed the PNH diagnosis. Due to refractory ascites he underwent a transjugular intrahepatic portal-systemic shunt (TIPS) and eculizumab administration was started.


He has already completed three years of eculizumab treatment and he is transfusion independent. There is also a significant reduction in fatigue with improvement in his quality of life. Doppler scans of his TIPS persistently show it to be patent.


Classical PNH patients with thrombosis and severe intravascular hemolysis are particularly challenging to manage. For these patients, eculizumab is a reasonable therapeutic option, expecting that by decreasing the risk for thrombosis, life expectancy may be increased.


Budd-Chiari syndrome; Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH); eculizumab


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