[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In hereditary spherocytosis, erythropoiesis has been described as 'sluggish' during the first months of life. The lack of appropriate erythropoietic response to compensate for increased red cell destruction necessitates blood transfusions in 70-80% of hereditary spherocytosis-affected infants during their first year of life. After this period, less than 30% require regular transfusion support. This transient requirement for transfusion led us to wonder whether anemic hereditary spherocytosis infants, like anemic premature infants, could benefit from recombinant erythropoietin therapy (rHu-Epo).
In 16 hereditary spherocytosis infants (age range 16-119 days) with severe anemia, a compassionate open preliminary study was performed. rHu-Epo treatment (1000 IU/kg/week) was instituted together with iron supplementation. Hemoglobin values and reticulocyte counts were repeatedly assessed.
In 13 out of 16 infants, prompt increases in reticulocyte counts were noted after the first week of treatment with 1000 IU/kg/week of rHu-Epo. During treatment with Epo these infants maintained clinically acceptable levels of hemoglobin and did not require blood transfusions. As the infants grew and began to mount an adequate erythropoietic response, the rHu-Epo dose could be tapered and the treatment could be discontinued before the age of nine months.
Epo treatment in most hereditary spherocytosis infants appears to be effective in the management of anemia and could serve as a valuable alternative to packed RBC transfusions.
The Hematology Journal 02/2000; 1(3):146-52. DOI:10.1038/sj/thj/6200022 · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although hereditary spherocytosis (HS) is a common disorder of the red cell membrane, its clinical and biologic expression at birth and in early infancy has received little attention. In order to obtain insights into the natural history of HS during infancy, we studied 46 neonates, 39 from families in which 1 of the parents had previously been given a diagnosis of HS and 7 presenting with nonimmune hemolytic anemia and no family history of HS. Of these 46 neonates, 23 were subsequently confirmed to have HS and 23 were found to be healthy. The hematologic and biologic analyses carried out in this cohort of 46 newborns enabled us to develop guidelines for early diagnosis of HS. A careful clinical follow-up of 34 HS patients during the first year of life allowed us to define several important clinical features of HS during this period. Hemoglobin values are usually normal at birth but decrease sharply during the subsequent 20 days, which leads, in many cases, to a transient and severe anemia. The anemia is severe enough to warrant blood transfusions in a large number of infants with HS (26 of 34 in our series). The aggravation of anemia appears to be related to the inability of these infants to mount an appropriate erythropoietic response to anemia and to the development of splenic filtering function. These findings indicate that careful monitoring of infants with HS during the first 6 months of life is important for appropriate clinical management. (Blood. 2000;95:393-397)