, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 1749-1752
Date: 28 Apr 2009

Rituximab therapy in two children with autoimmune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

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Abstract

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare disease among pediatric patients, in whom it may be mistaken for hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Familial forms are caused by mutations in the ADAMTS13 gene, whereas acquired forms may result from an inhibitory antibody directed against ADAMTS13, a metalloprotease that cleaves very large multimers of Von Willebrand factor (VWF), thereby preventing platelet aggregation in blood vessels. We report two cases of TTP. The first was a 15-year-old girl with her first episode of TTP that failed to respond after 10 days of plasmapheresis and was treated with rituximab; she has remained in remission at 12 months of follow-up. The second was a 6-year-old boy with acquired relapsing TTP previously managed with plasmapheresis and prednisolone, who presented with a third relapse that was treated with plasmapheresis and rituximab; he remains in remission 17 months after treatment. Rituximab has been used by pediatricians for treating B cell malignancy, autoimmune diseases and antibody-mediated diseases, such as the Factor VIII inhibitors in hemophilia A, and may also have a promising role in children with acute refractory or chronic relapsing TTP.