Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in pregnancy

A case report and review of treatment options

Tamara Dunn, May Cho, Bruno Medeiros, Aaron Logan, Alexander Ungewickell, Michaela Liedtke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare, life-threatening inflammatory disorder characterized by uncontrolled proliferation and activation of histiocytes with phagocytosis of normal hematopoietic cells. A 41 year-old woman, 19 weeks pregnant with twins, and a history of Still's disease, presented with rash, fever, and headache. Laboratory studies revealed transaminitis, hyperbilirubinemia, and eventually severe neutropenia as well as elevations in ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase, and C-reactive protein. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed HLH. She declined standard HLH-treatment but responded well to high-dose corticosteroids. Her blood counts remained stable following corticosteroid taper, and she delivered healthy twin girls at 30-week gestation. Few cases of HLH during pregnancy have been reported. In some cases, the condition has proved fatal. Therefore recognizing signs and symptoms of HLH is essential to avoid treatment delay. In our case, high-dose corticosteroids alone were a safe and effective therapy for the mother and fetuses resulting in long-term disease control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-328
Number of pages4
JournalHematology
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
Pregnancy
Adrenal Cortex Hormones
Therapeutics
Histiocytes
Hyperbilirubinemia
Ferritins
Exanthema
Neutropenia
Phagocytosis
C-Reactive Protein
Signs and Symptoms
Headache
Fetus
Fever
Bone Marrow
Mothers
Biopsy

Keywords

  • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in pregnancy : A case report and review of treatment options. / Dunn, Tamara; Cho, May; Medeiros, Bruno; Logan, Aaron; Ungewickell, Alexander; Liedtke, Michaela.

In: Hematology, Vol. 17, No. 6, 01.11.2012, p. 325-328.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dunn, Tamara ; Cho, May ; Medeiros, Bruno ; Logan, Aaron ; Ungewickell, Alexander ; Liedtke, Michaela. / Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in pregnancy : A case report and review of treatment options. In: Hematology. 2012 ; Vol. 17, No. 6. pp. 325-328.
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