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Am J Kidney Dis. 2014 Oct;64(4):633-7. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2014.01.434. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Discontinuation of eculizumab maintenance treatment for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome: a report of 10 cases.

Author information

1
Center for HUS Prevention, Control and Management, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy. Electronic address: ardissino@centroseu.org.
2
Center for HUS Prevention, Control and Management, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is a life-threatening thrombotic microangiopathy, and as many as 70% of patients with aHUS have mutations in the genes encoding complement regulatory proteins. Eculizumab, a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody targeting C5, has been used successfully in patients with aHUS since 2009. The standard maintenance treatment requires life-long eculizumab therapy, but the possibility of discontinuation has not yet been tested systematically. We report the safety of discontinuing eculizumab treatment in 10 patients who stopped treatment with the aim of minimizing the risk of adverse reactions, reducing the risk of meningitis, and improving quality of life while also reducing the considerable treatment costs. Disease activity was monitored closely at home by means of urine dipstick testing for hemoglobin. During the cumulative observation period of 95 months, 3 of the 10 patients experienced relapse within 6 weeks of discontinuation, but then immediately resumed treatment and completely recovered. Our experience supports the possibility of discontinuing eculizumab therapy with strict home monitoring for early signs of relapse in patients with aHUS who achieve stable remission.

KEYWORDS:

Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome; discontinuation; eculizumab

PMID:
24656451
DOI:
10.1053/j.ajkd.2014.01.434
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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