JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Autoimmune disease and chronic lymphocytic leukemia: autoimmune hemolytic anemia, pure red cell aplasia, and autoimmune thrombocytopenia

L F Diehl, L H Ketchum
Seminars in Oncology 1998, 25 (1): 80-97
9482530
Immune dysregulation, a hallmark of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), manifests itself in three autoimmune diseases: warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA); idiopathic thrombocytopenia (ITP); and, pure red cell aplasia (PRCA). AIHA occurs in 11% of advanced stage CLL patients. Prednisone is the first treatment of choice, with 90% responses and 65% complete responses. More than 60% of patients relapse when treatment is stopped. Intravenous immunoglobulin, the next line of treatment, causes responses in 40% of patients. While the data are very limited, cyclosporine A is a reasonable choice for third-line therapy. Alkylating agents, danazol, plasma exchange, immunoabsorption, vincristine-loaded platelets, splenectomy, and splenic irradiation are also reported to cause responses. The data on mechanisms of AIHA are most consistent with immune dysregulation leading to loss of tolerance to a self antigen which in turn leads to the immune-based hemolytic anemia. PRCA is underrecognized in CLL with 6% of CLL patients having PRCA when tested for it. Unlike AIHA, PRCA often occurs in early stage disease. Anemia, reticulocytopenia, and a marrow virtually devoid of red blood cell precursors are hallmarks of PRCA. Corticosteroid therapy is the first line of treatment. If a response is not obtained in 4 weeks, cyclosporine A should be added. Although the data on pathophysiology are very limited, PRCA appears to be the result of an abnormal T cell that both fails in its normal function to support growth and inhibits the growth of erythroid progenitor cells. ITP occurs in 2-3% of CLL patients, occurs in early stage disease and may be a presenting manifestation. Initial therapy for ITP mirrors the guidelines for primary ITP. Initial therapy should consist of prednisone. Seventy percent of patients respond. Splenectomy is a reasonable second-line treatment. Autoimmune phenomena, largely related to blood cells, are based in the immune dysregulation of CLL. Longer survivals in CLL patients, more treatment regimens per patient, and more immunosuppression with modern treatments, allow us to predict an increasing incidence of autoimmune blood cell diseases in CLL.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
9482530
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"