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Arch Intern Med. 1987 Jun;147(6):1077-81.

Acquired hemophilia. A natural history study of 16 patients with factor VIII inhibitors receiving little or no therapy.


Rarely, a patient develops an antibody against factor VIII coagulant activity. The resultant hemorrhagic diathesis is clinically distinct from inherited hemophilia, being characterized by few hemarthroses but frequent skin and other soft-tissue hematomas. Hematuria may be troublesome. These patients represent therapeutic challenges. This study is one institution's results with 16 such patients followed up over an average of 31 months (range, four to 120 months; median, 19 months). It describes the largest group from a single institution receiving essentially no immunosuppressive agents, yet has one of the better overall results. Two patients experienced fatal hemorrhage and five patients underwent spontaneous remission. Long-term survival is not incompatible with persistence of the inhibitor. We conclude that this hemorrhagic diathesis is clinically distinct, less fatal than usually perceived, and may undergo spontaneous remission. Clearly, there is no mandate for any particular therapeutic regimen, such as immunosuppression, in the attempt to rid the patient of the antibody.

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