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Front Pediatr. 2015 Jul 21;3:65. doi: 10.3389/fped.2015.00065. eCollection 2015.

Approaches to Managing Autoimmune Cytopenias in Novel Immunological Disorders with Genetic Underpinnings Like Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome.

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ALPS Clinic, Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services , Bethesda, MD , USA.


Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a rare disorder of apoptosis. It is frequently caused by mutations in FAS (TNFRSF6) gene. Unlike most of the self-limiting autoimmune cytopenias sporadically seen in childhood, multi lineage cytopenias due to ALPS are often refractory, as their inherited genetic defect is not going to go away. Historically, more ALPS patients have died due to overwhelming sepsis following splenectomy to manage their chronic cytopenias than due to any other cause, including malignancies. Hence, current recommendations underscore the importance of avoiding splenectomy in ALPS, by long-term use of corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive agents like mycophenolate mofetil and sirolimus. Paradigms learnt from managing ALPS patients in recent years is highlighted here and can be extrapolated to manage refractory cytopenias in patients with as yet undetermined genetic bases for their ailments. It is also desirable to develop international registries for children with rare and complex immune problems associated with chronic multilineage cytopenias in order to elucidate their natural history and long-term comorbidities due to the disease and its treatments.


autoimmune diseases; autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome; cytopenias; genetic disease; lymphoproliferative disorders

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