Rituximab alone or in association with corticosteroids in the treatment of acquired factor VIII inhibitors: report of two cases.
Acquired haemophilia is a factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency due to autoantibodies directed against FVIII that can be responsible for severe haemorrhage. The therapeutic approach, in addition to the treatment of bleeding episodes with clotting factor infusion, relies on corticosteroids (CS), cyclophosphamide (CYC), and/or high-dose intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg). However, the efficacy of IVIg is limited, and CS and CYC may cause a number of adverse effects. Recently, rituximab has been proposed, alone or in combination with CS and immunosuppressants in a small number of patients with acquired anti-FVIII antibodies with a good efficacy. We report here on two patients, aged 74 and 81, respectively, who developed acquired haemophilia, with high titre FVIII inhibitors and severe haemorrhage, in the absence of a detectable cause. Both of them received rituximab as a first line therapy with a marked and prolonged efficacy.
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