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Pediatr Ann. 2017 Aug 1;46(8):e309-e313. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20170717-01.

An Overview of Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis.


Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening syndrome characterized by a dysregulated hyperinflammatory response associated with aberrant activation of lymphocytes and macrophages that results in hypercytokinemia. It is classically divided into two types: (1) primary or familial HLH and (2) secondary HLH. Familial HLH is generally an autosomal recessive condition, whereas secondary HLH is usually associated with infectious diseases, autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases (where it is more commonly known as macrophage activation syndrome), malignancy, immunosuppression, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, organ transplantation, HIV infection, and metabolic diseases. Although its clinical presentation is often similar to bacterial sepsis or systemic inflammatory response syndrome, HLH can be life-threatening. As such, it is imperative to recognize and diagnose HLH in a timely manner to optimize care. [Pediatr Ann. 2017;46(8):e309-e313.].

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