JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Acquired haemophilia: experiences with a standardized approach.

Acquired haemophilia is a rare, life-threatening, acquired bleeding diathesis. No general consensus exists on the best therapeutic approach. We report on the standardized approach at our institution evaluated in ten patients with acquired haemophilia. Factor VIII inhibitors were found in all patients, activities ranging from 1 to 648 Bethesda units (BU). Eight of the ten patients presented with severe bleeding. Two patients died during the acute phase, one from intracranial bleeding and one due to Mycoplasma pneumonia. One patient with mild bleeding was treated with immunosuppression alone. Two patients with factor VIII inhibitor activities below 5 BU were started on factor VIII concentrate therapy. Therapy was successful in one and was changed to recombinant human activated factor VII infusion (rFVIIa) in the other, owing to insufficient factor VIII recovery. Six patients with factor VIII inhibitor activities above 5 BU were started on activated prothrombin complex concentrate (APCC) therapy. APCC treatment was successful initially in all six patients and was changed to rFVIIa infusion in one for rebleeding. One patient did not receive any specific therapy. Immunosuppression with prednisolone (2 mg kg(-1)) was begun in nine patients and was continued with cyclophosphamide (2 mg kg(-1)) in six. A complete remission of the acquired haemophilia was found in seven of the eight patients surviving the acute phase, one had a partial remission. All patients with acquired haemophilia could be managed effectively following our standardized approach. Routine administration of immunosuppression was associated with high inhibitor elimination rates.

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