The clinical and laboratory evaluation of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and the importance of hepatic and spinal cord involvement: a single center experience

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Beken B., Aytac Ş. S., Balta G., Kuskonmaz B. B., Uckan D., Unal Ş., ...More

HAEMATOLOGICA, vol.103, no.2, pp.231-236, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 103 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.3324/haematol.2017.178038
  • Journal Name: HAEMATOLOGICA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.231-236
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is an autosomal recessive, life-threatening condition characterized by defective immune response. A retrospective analysis was performed on 57 patients diagnosed with familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis at Hacettepe University Pediatric Hematology Department, Ankara, Turkey. Mutation analysis was performed on 37 patients, and of these: 11 had UNC13D, 10 had PRF1 and 3 had STX11 gene mutation. Of these patients, 44% were found to have central nervous system involvement on admission and spinal cord involvement was also seen in 5 patients. Remission was achieved in 24 patients with the treatment, in a median time of 76 days (min-max: 15-705 days). Time to remission was prolonged 3.1 times in patients with a ferritin level 1500 mg/dL or more. When patients were grouped according to age [Group 1 (<= 2 years), Group 2 (> 2 years)]; patients in Group 1 had higher ferritin and aspartate aminotransferase levels but lower fibrinogen levels. The 5-year survival rate was also lower in Group 1. When patients in Group 1 were divided into two sub-groups according to hepatic involvement, the 5-year survival rate of patients who had hepatic involvement was significantly lower than those patients without hepatic involvement (0.7%, 27%, respectively) (P=0.002). The 5-year survival rate of patients who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was significantly higher than the patients who didn't (44%, 16%, respectively) (P=0.02). In conclusion, age two years and under, ferritin level above 1500 mg/dL, spinal cord or hepatic involvement should be considered as poor prognostic factors in familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.