ISSN: 1351-8216 eISSN: 1365-2516 |
Published by John Wiley & Sons
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- Hepatitis C infection and outcomes in the Scottish haemophilia population
Patients with bleeding disorders previously frequently became infected with hepatitis C virus. We identified the number of patients infected in Scotland and assessed several aspects of the outcomes of HCV infection and its treatment comparing these with cohorts infected for other reasons. We calculated the number of individuals infected in Scotland (cohort A) starting with the total number of patients treated in Scottish haemophilia centres registered on the UKHCDO database between 1970 and 1989. Cases were then removed or added based on additional information from centre records. A second cohort B, consisted of 255 patients from cohort A and 47 patients HCV infected outside Scotland, but with follow‐up data from Scottish centres around their HCV infection. We estimate that 455 patients with bleeding disorders became infected by coagulation factor provided by NHS Scotland. In 302 individuals with documented HCV infection, rates of natural clearance (17.4%), genotype spread (64% genotype 1) and responses to antiviral therapy (14.5% with monotherapy; 38.8% with combination therapy) were similar to those in other cohorts. Thirty‐four liver biopsies were performed without adverse event and liver transplantation has been performed in 11 patients, seven for liver failure, four for hepatocellular carcinoma. Around 455 patients with bleeding disorders became HCV infected in Scotland before 1989. The natural history of HCV infection and responses to treatment are similar to those in other HCV‐infected cohorts. Liver transplantation has been used successfully for the treatment of end‐stage liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma.
- Importance of literacy for self‐reported health‐related quality of life: a study of boys with haemophilia in Brazil
Psychosocial outcomes are important in the perspective of boys with haemophilia. However, health‐related quality of life (HRQoL) is based on self‐report, and assumes adequate literacy. Yet, literacy is rarely assessed prior to data collection. This study sought to identify criteria that might indicate the level of literacy of children being recruited for clinical trials and to develop a simple method to prescreen those whose literacy was uncertain. We developed a brief screening tool in the form of two stories, at a grade 3 reading level, followed by comprehension questions. We applied the screening test to a sample of haemophilic boys between the ages of 7 and 13 years to assess their literacy. The data were analysed to determine the best criteria to use in identifying the ability to independently self‐report for HRQoL studies. Twenty‐four Brazilian boys (7.9–12.8) completed the testing. The results showed that 17 (70.8%) were literate (were able to both read and comprehend), and could complete a questionnaire without assistance. All boys over 11.0 years of age were sufficiently literate. Grade level was not found to be a helpful criterion. We recommend that all children under the age of 11.0 years be prescreened before providing self‐reported HRQoL data. Those with limited literacy should be provided assistance to ensure comprehension of the questions. This is important to ensure high‐quality data on HRQoL for future clinical trials.
- Process and experience of cross‐cultural adaptation of a quality of life measure (CHO‐KLAT) for boys with haemophilia in Brazil
Health‐related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important outcome from the perspective of boys with haemophilia and their parents. Few studies have captured the HRQoL of boys with haemophilia in developing countries. This article reports on the cross‐cultural adaptation of the Canadian Haemophilia Outcomes – Kids Life Assessment Tool (CHO‐KLAT) for use in São Paulo, Brazil. The CHO‐KLAT2.0 was translated into Portuguese, and then translated back into English. The original English and back‐translation versions were compared by a group of three clinicians, whose first language was Portuguese. The resulting Portuguese version was assessed through a series of cognitive debriefing interviews with children and their parents. This process identified concepts that were not clear and revised items to ensure appropriate understanding through an iterative process. The initial back‐translation was not discrepant from the original English version. We made changes to 66% of the CHO‐KLAT2.0 items based on clinical expert review and 26% of the items based on cognitive debriefings. In addition, two new items were added to the final Portuguese version to reflect the local cultural context. The final result had good face validity. This process was found to be extremely valuable in ensuring the items were accurately interpreted by the boys/parents in São Paulo Brazil. The results suggest that professional translators, clinical experts and cognitive debriefing are all required to achieve a culturally appropriate instrument. The Portuguese CHO‐KLAT2.0 is well understood by Sao Paulo boys/parents. The next step will be to test its validity and reliability locally.
- A Phase II clinical trial of a mixture of plasma‐derived factor VIIa and factor X (MC710) in haemophilia patients with inhibitors: haemostatic efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics
MC710, a mixture of plasma‐derived activated factor VII and factor X at a protein weight ratio of 1:10, is a novel bypassing agent for haemostasis in haemophilia patients with inhibitors. In a Phase II trial, we evaluated the haemostatic efficacy and safety of single doses of MC710, and investigated pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters in nine joint bleeding episodes in six male haemophilia patients with inhibitors. This trial was a multi‐centre, open‐label, non‐randomized study of two doses (60 and 120 μg kg−1 as FVIIa dose), allowing the re‐administration of different MC710 dosages to the same subjects. Haemostatic efficacy was assessed by evaluating reduction in pain and swelling, as well as increase in range of motion in a bleeding joint. The results of the study showed that in nine bleeding episodes, seven treatments were rated as ‘excellent’ or ‘effective’ according to investigator's rating system of efficacy at 8 h after administration. No serious or severe adverse events were observed after administration; furthermore, measurement of several diagnostic markers revealed no signs or symptoms of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The haemostatic potential of MC710 was confirmed at doses of 60 and 120 μg kg−1 in this trial. MC710 is thus expected to be a safe and efficacious novel bypassing agent for controlling bleeding in haemophilia patients with inhibitors.
- Prevalence of transfusion‐acquired hepatitis C in an Australian bleeding disorders population
In Australia prior to 1992, many patients with bleeding disorders were exposed to hepatitis C through blood products. However, the incidence, complications and response to treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in this population are poorly characterized. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of CHC and response to treatment in an Australian bleeding disorders population. Demographic data, virological data and liver disease status from these 700 patients with inherited bleeding disorders were analysed. Of these 700 patients, 424 (61%) had been tested for CHC infection and 219 (52%) were hepatitis C antibody positive, with the prevalence approaching 100% in patients with severe bleeding disorders. Of 219 patients, 73 (33%) had received treatment for their infection with a response rate of 33/73 (45%) across all genotypes. Of 219 patients, 34 (16%) had spontaneous viral clearance. When measured with transient elastography, 44/98 (45%) patients with CHC had significant liver fibrosis and 15/98 (15%) had liver cirrhosis. Of 130 patients, 38 (29%) with CHC infection had no evidence of follow‐up with an appropriate clinician in the past 2 years. This study demonstrates that testing for CHC in this population is incomplete and treatment rates are low. Given the substantial morbidity and mortality associated with CHC and new therapeutic options becoming available, it seems important to reengage patients to diagnose, offer treatment and monitor this infection.
- Cost‐effectiveness of recombinant activated factor VII vs. plasma‐derived activated prothrombin complex concentrate in the treatment of mild‐to‐moderate bleeding episodes in patients with severe haemophilia A and inhibitors in Spain
Several analyses have shown that recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) is a cost‐effective intervention compared with plasma‐derived activated prothrombin complex concentrate (pd‐aPCC) for the on‐demand treatment of mild‐to‐moderate bleeds in haemophilia patients with inhibitors. The aim of the study was to assess the cost‐effectiveness of rFVIIa vs. pd‐aPCC in the treatment of bleeding episodes in severe haemophilia A patients with inhibitors in Spain. A decision analytic model was designed to evaluate the costs and clinical outcomes of using rFVIIa or pd‐aPCC to treat mild‐to‐moderate joint bleeds in children (≤14 years old) and adults with inhibitors. Data were obtained from a published meta‐analysis and a panel of haemophilia experts. The analysis was conducted from the perspective of the Spanish National Healthcare System. One‐way sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the impact of model assumptions on study results. In the Treur meta‐analysis, rFVIIa resulted in cumulative joint bleed resolution of 88% and 95% after 24 and 36 h, respectively, compared with 62% and 76%, respectively, with pd‐aPCC (Treur et al. Haemophilia 2009; 15: 420–36). Here, the mean cost per bleed was estimated at €8473 and €15 579 in children and adults treated with rFVIIa, vs. €8627 and €15 677 in children and adults treated with pd‐aPCC. rFVIIa treatment was found to be the dominating option (cheaper and more effective). The one‐way sensitivity analysis also confirmed that rFVIIa was less costly than pd‐aPCC. The model suggests that rFVIIa is a cost‐effective option compared with pd‐aPCC for the treatment of mild‐to‐moderate bleeding episodes in a Spanish setting.
- Third trimester amniocentesis for diagnosis of inherited bleeding disorders prior to delivery
X‐linked and autosomally inherited bleeding disorders confer a risk of foetal intracranial haemorrhage during delivery. Conventional prenatal diagnosis involving chorionic villus sampling or early amniocentesis is primarily aimed at offering the choice of pregnancy termination. Currently, non‐invasive procedures, involving analysis of free foetal DNA in the maternal circulation, are restricted to gender determination, and are of limited value in women at risk of carrying a foetus with a bleeding disorder. These limitations, together with the rising proportion of women shown to be carrying an affected foetus, who decide to continue the pregnancy, have led to the development of prenatal mutation identification via late amniocentesis after 34 weeks of gestation, with the sole aim of directing delivery management. Although this approach has been documented in some cases of potential foetal anomaly, there are no previous reports of its use in women with heritable bleeding disorders. We report a single‐centre experience of this technique in managing nine such deliveries. Of these, three showed an affected foetus, five showed an unaffected foetus and in one case no result could be obtained. In the three affected cases and the one with the inconclusive result restrictive birth plans were implemented, whereas the five unaffected cases underwent routine obstetric management; with one delivery necessitating interventions which would have been contraindicated if foetal status had not been determined. Late amniocentesis is a safe technique for guiding delivery management in women with bleeding disorders where the mutation is known.
- Prenatal diagnosis of haemophilia B: the Italian experience
This article describes prenatal diagnosis (PND) of haemophilia B (HB) within the framework of Italian haemophilia centres and genetics laboratories. The study details the experience from six haemophilia genetic centres (three in the North, one in the Centre and two in the South of Italy) and summarizes the different techniques used to perform PND of HB during the last 15 years. To date, the Italian HB database includes 373 characterized unrelated patients and their genetic information has permitted the identification of 274 carriers of childbearing age. This database represents the main instrument for timely and precise PND. Sixty‐six prenatal diagnoses were performed on 52 HB carriers whose average age at the time was 34 (ranging from 24 to 44 years). In 44 cases, genetic counselling for carrier status determination was performed before pregnancy, while eight were not studied prior to pregnancy. Foetal samples were obtained by chorionic villus sampling in 52 cases, by amniocentesis in 12 while two were diagnosed by analysis of free foetal DNA obtained from maternal peripheral blood. In 35 (53%) pregnancies the foetus was female. For 31 men (47%), haemophilia status was determined by analysis of previously determined informative markers or familial mutations (12 affected and 19 unaffected). There may be more than one laboratory involved in the PND diagnostic pathway (providing DNA extraction, karyotype analysis, gender determination, maternal contamination detection, molecular diagnosis and sequencing). Good communication between all the parties, coordinated by the haemophilia centre, is essential for a successful and rapid process.
- Genotype and phenotype relationships in 10 Pakistani unrelated patients with inherited factor VII deficiency
Inherited factor VII (FVII) deficiency is one of the commonest rare bleeding disorders. It is characterized by a wide molecular and clinical heterogeneity and an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. Factor VII‐deficient patients are still scarcely explored in Pakistan although rare bleeding disorders became quite common as a result of traditional consanguineous marriages. The aim of the study was to give a first insight of F7 gene mutations in Pakistani population. Ten unrelated FVII‐deficient patients living in Pakistan were investigated (median FVII:C = 2%; range = 2–37%). A clinical questionnaire was filled out for each patient and direct sequencing was performed on the coding regions, intron/exon boundaries and 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions of the F7 gene. Nine different mutations (eight missense mutations and one located within the F7 promoter) were identified on the F7 gene. Five of them were novel (p.Cys82Tyr, p.Cys322Ser, p.Leu357Phe, p.Thr410Ala, c‐57C>T, the last being predicted to alter the binding site of transcription factor HNF‐4). Half of the patients had single mutations in Cys residues involved in disulfide bridges. The p.Cys82Arg mutation was the most frequent in our series. Six of seven patients with FVII:C levels below 10% were homozygous in connection with the high percentage of consanguinity in our series. In addition, we graded the 10 patients according to three previously published classifications for rare bleeding disorders. The use of the bleeding score proposed by Tosetto and co‐workers in 2006 appears to well qualify the bleeding tendency in our series.
- Efficacy and safety of Wilate in paediatric VWD patients under 6 years of age – results of a prospective multicentre clinical study including recovery information
Treatment with exogenous von Willebrand factor (VWF) is indicated in patients with von Willebrand disease (VWD) in whom treatment with 1‐deamino‐8‐d‐arginine vasopressin/desmopressin is contraindicated. Wilate® is a new generation plasma‐derived concentrate of native VWF and coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) (in a physiological 1:1 ratio) developed for the treatment of VWD. This is the first study to report safety, efficacy and in vivo recovery (IVR) data from 15 paediatric patients less than 6 years of age who received Wilate® for either prophylaxis, on‐demand treatment or for treatment in surgical procedures during a prospective open‐label trial (VWD type 1: 5, type 2A: 1, type 2B: 2, type 3: 6, unknown type: 1 patients). Analysis of IVR for VWF and FVIII suggested an appropriate and consistent rise in coagulation activity after Wilate® administration. Overall efficacy was rated as excellent or good for 99.7% [prophylactic infusions] and 100% [bleeding episodes/surgical procedures]. More than 82% of bleeding episodes resolved after 1 day of treatment, and a Wilate® dosage of 20–50 IU kg−1 was sufficient to achieve haemostasis in 97% of bleeding episodes. All surgical procedures were successfully managed with Wilate®. No thromboembolic events were observed during the study, and no patient developed anti‐VWF antibodies or FVIII inhibitors. In conclusion, this study confirms both the expected IVR profile in paediatric patients and the excellent efficacy, tolerability and safety profile of Wilate® observed previously in adults. Wilate® showed excellent efficacy in the treatment of bleeding when used prophylactically or on‐demand, and in the treatment of surgical procedures.
- Comparative pharmacokinetics of factor VIII and recombinant factor IX: for which coagulation factors should half‐life change with age'
The half‐life of factor VIII (FVIII) increases with the age of the patient, while studies on recombinant factor IX (rFIX) and factor VIIa (rFVIIa) have not demonstrated corresponding age‐related changes. The purpose of this analysis was to relate the changes in FVIII and rFIX pharmacokinetics (PK) with age to developmental changes in body size and fluid volumes and explain why the elimination half‐life of FVIII, but not of rFIX, would change with age, and to consider how the findings could be applied prospectively to other coagulation factors. Published PK data for FVIII from 186 patients aged 1–74 years and for rFIX from 56 patients aged 4–56 years were used. The relationships of FVIII and rFIX clearance (CL) with body weight could be described by allometric expressions. Relative changes in CL with age or weight were similar for FVIII and rFIX. The age‐related change in volume of distribution at steady state (Vss) of rFIX was parallel to the change in CL in the children while for FVIII the change was much less pronounced. Elimination half‐life was clearly age‐dependent for FVIII while only a very weak trend could be seen for rFIX. Limited data suggest that rFVIIa in this respect resembles rFIX, with parallel changes in CL and Vss producing insignificant change in half‐life. To what extent the elimination half‐life of a coagulation factor would show a correlation with age can in principle be predicted from the characteristics of its CL and distribution.
- The effect of peer support groups on self‐care for haemophilic patients with HIV in Japan
Experienced peer support groups (EPSG) are expected to improve self‐care and complement professional health care for haemophilic patients, even those living in inconvenient clinical setting. However, these benefits have not been verified quantitatively. The structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to evaluate the effects of contact with EPSG on self‐care for haemophilic patients in the Japanese clinical settings. Factors affecting self‐care were compared between groups with and without EPSG contact. Self‐reported questionnaires were mailed to 652 haemophilic patients with HIV in Japan (September 2005–January 2006). SEM demonstrated significant associations between EPSG contact, self‐care scores and other social and individual factors. The total effect of EPSG contact on self‐care was calculated. The structural differences between models were analysed in a multi‐group analysis. Of the 257 respondents (response rate, 39.4%), 109 reported having contact with an EPSG (EPSG+ group) and 139 reported no contact (EPSG− group). EPSG contact was significantly associated with better self‐care. In the multi‐group analysis, the total effect of inconvenient access to medical services on self‐care in the EPSG+ group was 10% of that in the EPSG− group and was significantly associated with poor illness‐related knowledge and high anxiety level only in the EPSG− group. In the EPSG+ group, patient age was strongly associated with self‐care than in the EPSG− group. These findings suggest that EPSG contact may alleviate inconvenience in medical services. Factors associated with self‐care differed between groups. Health care professionals must carefully assess self‐care behaviours and service accessibility based on these results.
- Applicability of the European Society of Cardiology guidelines on management of acute coronary syndromes to people with haemophilia – an assessment by the ADVANCE Working Group
There are no evidence‐based guidelines for antithrombotic management in people with haemophilia (PWH) presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The aim of the study was to review the current European Society of Cardiology guidelines, and to consider how best they should be adapted for PWH. Structured communication techniques based on a Delphi‐like methodology were used to achieve expert consensus on key aspects of clinical management. The main final statements are as follows: (i) ACS and myocardial revascularization should be managed promptly by a multidisciplinary team that includes a haemophilia expert, (ii) each comprehensive care centre for adult PWH should have a formal clinical referral pathway with a cardiology centre with an emergency unit and 24 h availability of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), (iii) PCI should be performed as soon as possible under adequate clotting factor protection, (iv) bare metal stents are preferred to drug‐eluting stents, (v) anticoagulants should only be used in PWH after replacement therapy, (vi) minimum trough levels should not fall below 5–15% in PWH on dual antiplatelet therapy, (vii) the duration of dual antiplatelet therapy after ACS and PCI should be limited to a minimum, (viii) the use of GPIIb‐IIIa inhibitors is not recommended in PWH other than in exceptional circumstances, (ix) the use of fibrinolysis may be justified in PWH when primary PCI (within 90 min) is not available ideally under adequate clotting factor management. It is hoped that the results of this initiative will help to guide optimal management of ACS in PWH.
- Detection of bleeding disorders in Lebanon: outcomes of a pilot programme
To promote management and awareness of bleeding disorders in Lebanon, a pilot programme was launched in 2009 by the Lebanese Hemophilia Association assisted by World Federation of Hemophilia. The aim of this study was to diagnose patients with bleeding disorders and to assess the potential challenges in implementing a screening programme. The pilot project was launched in 26 social health centres in the Bekaa valley. The study tools included the evaluation of the Tossetto Bleeding Score and the Pictorial Bleeding Assessment Chart (PBAC) for menstruation. Persons with a bleeding score higher than 2 and PBAC higher than 185 were eligible for further blood tests including the prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, complete blood count, bleeding time and von Willebrand ristocetin cofactor activity. 643 patients were enrolled, of whom 60.6% were women. Overall, 91 persons had an abnormal score. 50 eligible patients were tested: 32 had normal tests, nine new patients with severe Von Willebrand were discovered, 4 had VW:RiCo of 40, 3 prolonged APTT and 2 thrombocytopaenia. There was a clear correlation between the severity of the score and the willingness to perform the tests (P = 0.02). Women were reluctant to participate fully when investigators were men. The probability of adherence to the screening protocol is significantly increased when directed by women health care professional. For patients with milder forms, global screening programmes were neither feasible nor acceptable but those more severely affected have to be identified. Providers are crucial in preselecting patients with blood problems who are not coping well.
- Cardiovascular comorbidities are increased in US patients with haemophilia A: a retrospective database analysis
There is conflicting evidence in the literature on whether individuals with haemophilia in the USA have greater, reduced, or similar risks for cardiovascular disease as the general population. This study evaluated the prevalence of cardiovascular comorbidities among USA males with haemophilia A, relative to an unaffected general male population with similar characteristics. Males with haemophilia A and continuous insurance coverage were identified by ICD‐9‐CM code 286.0 (1 January 2007–31 December 2009) using the MarketScan® Commercial and Medicare Research Databases. Individuals with haemophilia A were exact matched 1:3 with males without a diagnosis of haemophilia A. The prevalence of cardiovascular comorbidities identified by ICD‐9‐CM code was determined for matched cohorts. Of the study population, 2506 were grouped in the haemophilia A cohort and 7518 in the general cohort. Proportions of individuals with haemorrhagic stroke (2.0% vs. 0.5%, P < 0.001), ischemic stroke (4.7% vs. 2.7%, P < 0.001), coronary artery disease (10.7% vs. 5.8%, P < 0.001), myocardial infarction (0.8% vs. 0.3%, P = 0.003), hypertension (22.6% vs. 15.5%, P < 0.001), hyperlipidaemia (15.9% vs. 11.9%, P < 0.001), arterial thrombosis (12.1% vs. 5.9%, P < 0.001), and venous thrombosis (4.4% vs. 1.1%, P < 0.001) were significantly greater for the haemophilia A cohort. Results were consistent across most age groups, and comorbidities appeared at an earlier age in those with haemophilia A than in the general population. Among the USA haemophilia A population cardiovascular comorbidities are more prevalent and they appear earlier in life in comparison to the general male population, suggesting the need for earlier, enhanced screening for age‐related comorbidities in the haemophilia community.
- Bone cysts in patients with afibrinogenaemia: a literature review and two new cases
Afibrinogenaemia is an autosomal recessive disease with an estimated prevalence of approximately one in a million. The most common symptoms of afibrinogenaemia are umbilical cord bleeding, bleeding into skin, mouth, muscles, gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts and the central nervous system. Other recognized complications include; haemarthroses, spontaneous splenic rupture, epistaxis, menorrhagia, recurrent abortion and venous and arterial thromboembolism. Bone cysts have also been described as a rare complication of afibrinogenaemia. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic literature review, summarize the reported cases and to report two new cases. Three electronic databases were searched for relevant publications: PubMed, Medline and EMBASE. The following search criteria were used: ‘(bone cysts OR intraosseous haematoma OR intraosseous haemorrhage) AND (afibrinogenaemia OR fibrinogen deficiency)’. The reference lists of the selected papers were searched for more relevant literature. In total, eight patients had bone cysts as complication of afibrinogenaemia and six of them suffered from pain in their extremities. Bone cysts were primarily located in the vicinity of the cortex or trabeculae in the diaphysis of the long bones, especially in the femora, tibiae and humeri. Some were regressive, probably due to reactive bone remodelling. A number of cysts were filled with serosanguinous fluid. It might be useful to check for bone cysts when patients with congenital afibrinogenaemia complain of ‘rheumatic’ pains in their extremities. Whole body magnetic resonance imaging is the diagnostic imaging technique of choice. Recurrent episodes of pain, but not radiological deterioration, appear to benefit from prophylactic therapy with fibrinogen concentrate.
- Out‐of‐pocket and catastrophic expenditure on treatment of haemophilia by Indian families
In low‐income countries, haemophilia treatment is not supported by national health services. Data on the burden of out‐of‐pocket (OOP) expenditure on households are unavailable from these countries. This study measured the OOP expenditure on treatment of haemophilia by Indian households. We used 20 weeks of follow‐up data of 24 haemophilia A patients to estimate the annual bleeding rate for each patient and the actual OOP expenditure on treatment. We used this observational data to calculate the annual OOP expenditure on treatment if all bleeding episodes were to be treated with clotting factor concentrate. Using previously published methodology, we estimated if the expenditure was catastrophic to households or not. The observed monthly expenditure on treatment ranged from 1.5% to 12% of monthly income as not all bleeding episodes were treated with clotting factor concentrate. The estimated monthly expenditure if all bleeding episodes occurring over 1 year were to be treated would range from 21 to 314 times the monthly income of families. Nearly 68% of households would have experienced catastrophic expenditure. Treatment for haemophilia results in significant OOP expenditure for households, which is avoided by not providing standard treatment to patients. There is a need to mobilize prevention and care services for haemophilia in India and other low‐income countries to mitigate the suffering due to lack of affordable treatment.
- The use of a co‐design model in improving timely bleed reporting by adults with haemophilia living in the Auckland region of New Zealand
Many adult patients diagnosed with phenotypically moderate and severe haemophilia living in the Auckland region of New Zealand do not report bleeding episodes within a timeframe that allows for optimal assessment and management. This can result in poor clinical outcomes for patients and poor oversight of the use of expensive clotting factor concentrates. Our goal was to improve both the number and speed at which bleeding episodes were reported to our centre, improving access to care and clinical oversight of the use of expensive factor concentrates and aiding the development of a care partnership with patients. We worked with 70 adult PWH living in the Auckland region of New Zealand with moderate and severe haemophilia A and B. Over a 5‐month period between March and July 2013 we used a co‐design model to develop and implement a range of strategies to improve the timing and frequency of bleed reporting. Mean bleed reporting time was reduced threefold, with a threefold increase in the number of bleeds reported per month. We reduced the number of bleeding episodes reported outside of a prespecified 48‐h time limit by 68%. We significantly improved bleed reporting and time to report, indicating improved access to our services, improved clinical oversight and improved accountability to our national funder. We have achieved a care partnership and a reduction in factor consumption for the study population without compromising the quality of care they receive.
- Severe congenital factor XIII deficiency caused by novel W187X and G273V mutations in the F13A gene; diagnosis and classification according to the ISTH/SSC guidelines
Factor XIII (FXIII) consists of the A and B subunits (FXIII‐A and FXIII‐B) and stabilizes fibrin clots. Defects in either the FXIII‐A or FXIII‐B gene lead to congenital FXIII deficiency, which manifests a life‐long haemorrhagic tendency. Thus, prophylactic FXIII replacement therapy is recommended. To establish a management plan for a 30‐year‐old male patient with ‘indefinite’ FXIII deficiency ( <40% of the normal FXIII), he was characterized by state‐of‐the‐art techniques as guided by the FXIII/Fibrinogen subcommittee of ISTH/SSC. FXIII activity turned out to be virtually undetectable by three functional assays. Four immunological assays detected essentially no FXIII protein, FXIII‐A antigen, and A2B2 antigen, but normal FXIII‐B antigen. Accordingly, he was diagnosed as a ‘severe’ FXIII‐A deficiency case. He had no anti‐FXIII antibodies, because a 1:1 cross‐mixing test (ammonia release assay) and a five‐step mixing test (amine incorporation assay) between his plasma and normal plasma demonstrated deficiency patterns. Furthermore, a dosing test using plasma‐derived FXIII concentrates revealed its normal recovery. DNA sequencing analysis identified two novel mutations, W187X & G273V, in the F13A gene. Genetic analyses confirmed that he was a compound heterozygote and his mother and sister were heterozygotes of either one of these mutations, indicating the hereditary nature of this disorder. Molecular modelling predicted that the G273V mutation would cause clashes with the surrounding residues in the core domain of FXIII‐A, and ultimately would result in the instability of the mutant molecule. Detailed characterization of ‘indefinite’ FXIII deficiency made it possible to make its definite diagnosis and best management plan.
- Dental health and disease in patients with haemophilia – a case‐control study
Management of patients with hereditary bleeding disorders in dentistry causes considerable problems. This study examined different aspects of dental health or disease of Lithuanian children and adults with haemophilia and compared them with the general population. Two study groups of cases and controls were formed. Cases were recruited through census sampling and controls were randomly chosen from the general population matched for gender, age and place of residence. Dental health of permanent and deciduous dentitions was assessed by one examiner employing the WHO Criteria for Oral Health Surveys. The following aspects of dental health/disease were considered: overall caries experience, treatment experience, unmet dental treatment needs and the presence of functional dentition. Data were collected from 76 patients with haemophilia among which 27 were children and 49 were adults and a control group of 76 subjects comprising 30 children and 46 adults. Children with haemophilia had a significantly lower overall caries experience and less unmet dental treatment needs in deciduous teeth as compared to healthy children. In permanent dentitions, overall caries experience, unmet dental treatment needs or treatment experience did not differ between cases and controls either in older children or adult cohorts. There were no differences between the study groups regarding the functional dentition‐related indices. Healthier deciduous teeth were observed in children with haemophilia than in children without haemophilia, but other dental health or disease‐related outcomes did not differ between cases and controls.
- Effectiveness of two modalities of physiotherapy in the treatment of haemophilic arthropathy of the ankle: a randomized pilot study
Although different techniques of physiotherapy have been described for the treatment of haemophilic arthropathy (HA) of ankle, hardly any studies have been applied manual therapy or educational physiotherapy and home exercises. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of manual therapy and educational physiotherapy in the treatment of HA of the ankle. Thirty‐one patients with HA of the ankle with a mean age of 35.29 (SD: 12.877) years randomized to manual therapy group (n = 11), educational group (n = 10) and a control group (n = 10). The two physiotherapy programmes were one with manual therapy articular traction, passive stretching of the gastrocnemius muscles, and exercises for muscle strength and proprioception (MT group) and the other with educational sessions and home exercises (E group). The study lasted for 12 weeks. The treatment with manual therapy improved the gastrocnemius muscle circumference, and the pain of ankle (P < 0.05). Six months later, MT group still enjoyed improvement. In the educational group there were improvements, but not significant, in the measured variables. No patient had ankle haemarthrosis during the study. The treatment with manual therapy improved the circumference of gastrocnemius and lessened pain in the patients with haemophilic arthropathy of the ankle.
- Factor VIII assay mimicking in vivo coagulation conditions
Under certain circumstances, the determination of coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) is hampered by assay discrepancies between clotting and chromogenic approaches. These are observed in certain patients’ plasma as well as in certain concentrates. We intended to develop a novel assay for the quantification of coagulation FVIII which reflects the physiological situation better than the established assays. It is based on plasma without chelation of divalent cations and simultaneously minimizes the generation of activated factors which could function as uncontrolled triggers of coagulation. FVIII deficient plasma is prepared with the aid of biotinylated antibodies against FVIII from normal plasma in presence of inhibitors of contact activation. To start the assay only tiny amounts of activated FIX serve as trigger. The FVIII determination is performed in a kinetic experiment and is based on the cleavage of a fluorogenic substrate for activated FX. FVIII concentrations between 0.01 and 1 IU mL−1 are easily determined. Plasma‐derived and recombinant FVIII concentrates were compared. All plasma‐derived concentrates were found to contain FVIII activities within the specification of the manufacturer. Recombinant concentrates yielded only 35–50% of the claimed potency. The novel in vivo‐like assay avoids the undue advantage or disadvantage of certain product characteristics by eliminating unphysiological assay conditions. Its usefulness could turn out in future experiments with plasma from haemophilia A patients.
- Pharmacokinetics of plasma‐derived and recombinant factor IX – implications for prophylaxis and on‐demand therapy
Plasma‐derived (pd) and recombinant (r) factor IX (FIX) differ in pharmacokinetic (PK) properties. These differences and their clinical implications have been debated since the introduction of rFIX. The aim of this review was to describe the comparative disposition of pdFIX and rFIX and will for this purpose begin with an overview of population PK modelling. In contrast to the model‐independent method, a population PK model can analyse sparse data sets obtained in various settings, provide parameter values that can be used to predict coagulation factor levels with any kind of single or multiple dosing and include statistical analysis of variation between individuals. Population modelling has also clearly demonstrated the difference in PK between pdFIX and rFIX. Their distribution characteristics influence the FIX coagulant activity (FIX:C) level vs. time curve during the early hours after infusion. In vivo recovery and elimination half‐life are consequently not adequate descriptors of the effective PK of FIX, and for new analogues with modified PK, differences in distribution might be clinically important. Calculated doses to maintain 1% trough levels during twice‐weekly prophylactic treatment are considerably higher with rFIX than with pdFIX and roughly correspond to dosing in clinical studies. However, the putative relationship between FIX:C trough level and therapeutic outcome has never been confirmed in a clinical trial. Comparative studies on prophylaxis with different types of FIX are needed.
- Acquired factor X deficiency in systemic amyloidosis: management of two cases
- Fluorescent PCR‐based gene dose analysis for detection of deletion mutations in carriers of haemophilia
- Pulmonary embolism in a patient with congenital afibrinogenemia
- Successful eradication of inhibitor in a patient with severe haemophilia B and anaphylaxis to factor IX concentrates: is there a role for Rituximab® and desensitization therapy'
- Impact of genetic counselling' The potential utility of haemophilia surveillance data in developing countries
- Tattooing, piercing and inherited coagulation disorders
- Theraband® exercises with music for persons with haemophilia
- Severe FX deficiency caused by a homozygous double deletion involving F10 and PROZ genes
- Pharmacokinetics and prophylactic use of FEIBA® in a child with severe congenital factor X deficiency and recurrent spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage: a case report
- Femur fracture in a woman with severe factor X deficiency – an experience using factor X concentrate in surgery
- Cataract surgery in haemophilia
- Functional and radiological assessment of arthropathy in Indian children with haemophilia
- Repeated recombinant activated factor VII administration in a patient with congenital factor VII deficiency undergoing modified radical hysterectomy: a case report
- Successful coronary artery bypass grafting in a patient with severe FVII deficiency and minimal use of recombinant FVIIa
- A rare case of acquired haemophilia in a patient with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia successfully treated with decitabine
- Is prophylaxis required for delivery in women with factor VII deficiency'
Factor VII (fVII) deficiency is a rare congenital bleeding disorder in which fVII activity level and bleeding tendency do not completely correlate. Pregnancy and delivery present a significant haemostatic challenge to women with fVII deficiency. Treatment with recombinant factor VIIa (rfVIIa) carries a thrombotic risk and the literature is not clear whether prophylaxis is necessary prior to delivery. The aim of this study was to define management, haemorrhagic and thrombotic complications of pregnant women with fVII deficiency through a systematic review. Medical databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Scopus) were searched using “factor VII deficiency” and “pregnancy” or “surgery.” Overall 34 articles, four abstracts, and three institutional cases were reviewed. Literature from 1953 to 2011 reported 94 live births from 62 women with fVII deficiency. The median fVII activity was 5.5%. Haemostatic prophylaxis was used in 32% of deliveries. Without prophylaxis, 40 vaginal deliveries and 16 caesarean sections were completed. The odds of receiving prophylaxis were 2.9 times higher in women undergoing caesarean section compared to vaginal delivery. Post‐partum haemorrhage occurred in 10% of deliveries with prophylaxis and 13% of deliveries without prophylaxis. The fVII level did not significantly differ between women who did and did not receive prophylaxis. We present the only systematic review of the management of pregnancy in fVII deficient women. No difference in post‐partum haemorrhage was seen in deliveries with and without prophylaxis. Therefore, we recommend that rfVIIa be available in the case of haemorrhage or surgical intervention, but not as mandatory prophylaxis.
- A child with acquired factor XIII deficiency: case report and literature review
Factor XIII (FXIII) deficiency is a rare bleeding disorder, which can result in life threatening hemorrhage. Rarer still is acquired FXIII deficiency, in which the disorder is due to autoantibodies that inhibit the factor. To describe one of the youngest reported patients with this condition. To discuss the challenges we encountered in monitoring response with the available assays. To review the literature and provide a review of all acquired FXIII cases. We present the case of our patient, a 9‐year‐old girl with acquired FXIII deficiency. We present a comprehensive review of all acquired FXIII deficiency cases reported globally in English, with focus on clinical presentation, diagnostic assays, treatment and prognosis. There is no current standard for therapy and measuring response to therapy can be complicated by limitations of assays in the presence of inhibitors. Clinicians should be aware of acquired FXIII deficiency as a potentially life threatening bleeding disorder even in young children. The case presented illustrates a young patient with acquired FXIII deficiency with a good clinical response to cryoprecipitate and difficulty in hemostasis monitoring utilizing clinically available assays.
- Influence of ankle plantar flexor muscle architecture and strength on gait in boys with haemophilia in comparison to typically developing children
Altered gait patterns, muscle weakness and atrophy have been reported in young boys with severe haemophilia when compared to unaffected peers. The aim of this study was to determine whether lateral gastrocnemius muscle size and architecture influenced biomechanical walking patterns of boys with haemophilia and if these relationships differed from age‐matched typically developing boys. Biomechanical function of the knee and ankle during level walking, lateral gastrocnemius anatomical cross‐sectional area, thickness, width, fascicle length and pennation angle and ankle plantar flexor muscle strength were recorded in 19 typically developing boys aged 7–12 years and 19 age‐matched haemophilic boys with a history of ankle joint bleeding. Associations between gait, strength and architecture were compared using correlations of peak gait values. Haemophilic boys walked with significantly larger (P < 0.05) ankle dorsi flexion angles and knee flexion moments. The ankle plantar flexor muscles of haemophilic boys were significantly weaker and smaller when compared to typically developing peers. In the typically developing boys there was no apparent association between muscle architecture, strength and walking patterns. In haemophilic boys maximum muscle strength and ACSA normalized torque of the ankle plantar flexors together with the muscle width, thickness, fascicle length and angulation (P < 0.05) were associated with motion at the ankle and peak moments at the knee joint. Muscle strength deficits of the ankle plantar flexors and changes in muscle size and architecture may underpin the key biomechanical alterations in walking patterns of haemophilic boys with a history of ankle joint bleeding.
- The obstetric, gynaecological and fertility implications of homozygous PAI‐1 deficiency: single‐centre experience
Complete plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI‐1) deficiency is an exceedingly rare autosomal recessive bleeding disorder previously identified and reported in a large Old Order Amish (OOA) kindred in Indiana [Fay et al. Blood 1997; 90: 204]. Mouse models suggest that proteolysis via the plasminogen activator/plasmin system plays a crucial role in reproduction including degradation of the follicular wall during ovulation, fertilization, embryo implantation and embryogenesis [Leonardsson et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1995; 92: 12446]. We report the obstetric, gynaecological and fertility histories of OOA individuals with homozygous PAI‐1 deficiency. In this family, there are 10 affected members identified to date ranging in age between 10 and 32 years, including seven female patients and three male patients. To date, two women have achieved pregnancies without difficulty; however, they experienced antenatal bleeding and preterm labour. The early initiation and continuation of antifibrinolytic agents, Epsilon‐aminocaproic acid or tranexamic acid, during the pregnancy and in the postpartum period, was believed to be successful in preventing major bleeding complications in our patients with complete PAI‐1 deficiency.
- Laboratory testing and standardisation
- Pharmacokinetics of plasma‐derived and recombinant factor IX: using population pharmacokinetics with sparse sampling data needs further study
The concept of using pharmacokinetics for prophylactic dose tailoring with limited blood sampling in clinical practice has been demonstrated for factor VIII but not for factor IX. The pharmacokinetics of factor IX are more complicated than for factor VIII and also differ between plasma‐derived and recombinant factor IX. Therefore, the pharmacokinetics of factor IX need to be further explored in clinical trials including comparative studies of prophylaxis with different factor IX concentrates. These are the main conclusions drawn from two of the last manuscripts written by Professor Sven Björkman and published in Haemophilia. Professor Björkman suddenly and unexpectedly died last summer. Thanks to the academic network created around his skill and through his enthusiasm for the pharmacokinetics of clotting factors and ability to convey his wisdom to others, this work will continue. Sven Björkman opened a new era in hemophilia prophylaxis.
- Perioperative haemostatic management of haemophilic mice using normal mouse plasma
Intense haemostatic interventions are required to avoid bleeding complications when surgical procedures are performed on haemophilia patients. The objective of this study was to establish an appropriate protocol for perioperative haemostatic management of haemophilic mice. We assessed the prophylactic haemostatic effects of normal mouse plasma (NMP) on haemophilia B (HB) mice for both a skin flap procedure and a laparotomy. When 500 μL of NMP was administered to the mice, plasma factor IX (FIX:C) levels peaked at 15.1% immediately after intravenous (IV) administration, at 6.1% 2 h after intraperitoneal (IP) administration and at 2.7% 6 h after subcutaneous administration. Administering 500 μL of NMP via IP or IV 30 min in advance enabled the skin flap procedure to be performed safely without any complications. After the laparotomy procedure, several mice in the IP administration group exhibited lethal bleeding, but all mice survived in the IV administration group. Anti‐mouse FIX inhibitors did not develop, even after repetitive administrations of NMP. However, human FIX concentrates, especially plasma‐derived concentrates, elicited the anti‐human FIX inhibitors. The results show that administering 500 μL of NMP via IV or IP 30 min in advance enables surgical procedures to be safely performed on HB mice, and that IV administration is more desirable than IP if the procedure requires opening of the abdominal wall.
- Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of 10 Finnish patients with von Willebrand disease type 3: discovery of two main mutations
Severe von Willebrand's disease (VWD) type 3 is a rare autosomal‐recessively inherited bleeding disorder, showing considerable genotypic heterogeneity. We investigated the phenotype in correlation with the genotype in Finnish type 3 VWD patients. Ten patients previously diagnosed with VWD type 3 treated at the Coagulation Disorder Unit in Helsinki University Hospital were re‐evaluated for bleeding tendency and treatment. Phenotypic characterization included coagulation and platelet function testing confirming the diagnosis. The genotype was assessed by initial screening for the common c.2435delC mutation and subsequently if needed, by analysing all 51 coding exons of the von Willebrand factor gene. Our result confirmed the diagnosis of type 3 VWD for all 10 patients. We discovered two common mutations: nine of the 20 alleles (45%) were found to carry the c.2435delC frameshift mutation, previously described to be frequent in countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. The nonsense mutation c.4975C>T (p.R1659X) was found on 8/20 (40%) of the alleles. In addition, three novel mutations, a potential splice site mutation (c.874+2T>C) and two frameshift mutations (c.1668delC and c.2072delCCinsG) were found. Seven patients were homozygous and three compound heterozygous for the reported mutations. This study indicates that mainly two mutations (c.2435delC and p.R1659X) cause the majority of type 3 VWD in Finland. This result sets future standards for the genetic testing among the Finnish type 3 VWD population.
- Lack of seasonal variation in bleeding and patient‐assessed pain patterns in patients with haemophilia B receiving on‐demand therapy
Spontaneous haemorrhage in patients with haemophilia is generally considered to occur randomly and without a predictable temporal or seasonal pattern; however, there is a lack of evidence in the literature on the effects of weather, temperature and atmosphere on bleeding episodes. This post hoc analysis of a multicentre, open‐label crossover study examined the influence of seasonality on bleeding frequency and patient‐assessed pain in patients with moderately severe and severe (FIX C ≤ 2%) haemophilia B. Fifty patients were enrolled and treated on‐demand for 16 weeks; 47 were subsequently randomized to one of two prophylactic regimens (nonacog alfa 100 IU kg−1 once weekly or 50 IU kg−1 twice weekly) for 16 weeks. Patients then underwent an 8‐week washout period of on‐demand therapy before being crossed over to the other prophylactic regimen for 16 weeks. Bleeding episodes during the on‐demand treatment periods were analysed. To assess for temporal trends, data were graphed as scatter plots. The primary end point was the annualized bleeding rate (ABR). Additional measures included raw and median pain scores during every joint bleeding event (spontaneous or traumatic), with pain scored using the Brief Pain Inventory (0 = ‘no pain’ to 10 = ‘pain as bad as you can imagine’). The observed ABRs during the on‐demand periods showed no distinguishable trend over time. Analysis of pain associated with joint bleeding episodes also did not demonstrate any discernible temporal trend. No apparent seasonal variation in bleeding pattern or patient‐reported pain was observed in this analysis of patients with haemophilia B.
- A study of prospective surveillance for inhibitors among persons with haemophilia in the United States
Inhibitors are a rare but serious complication of treatment of patients with haemophilia. Phase III clinical trials enrol too few patients to adequately assess new product inhibitor risk. This project explores the feasibility of using a public health surveillance system to conduct national surveillance for inhibitors. Staff at 17 U.S. haemophilia treatment centres (HTC) enrolled patients with haemophilia A and B into this prospective study. HTC staff provided detailed historic data on product use and inhibitors at baseline, and postenrolment patients provided monthly detailed infusion logs. A central laboratory performed inhibitor tests on blood specimens that were collected at baseline, annually, prior to any planned product switch or when clinically indicated. The central laboratory also performed genotyping of all enrolled patients. From January 2006 through June 2012, 1163 patients were enrolled and followed up for 3329 person‐years. A total of 3048 inhibitor tests were performed and 23 new factor VIII inhibitors were identified, 61% of which were not clinically apparent. Infusion logs were submitted for 113 205 exposure days. Genotyping revealed 431 distinct mutations causing haemophilia, 151 of which had not previously been reported elsewhere in the world. This study provided critical information about the practical issues that must be addressed to successfully implement national inhibitor surveillance. Centralized testing with routine monitoring and confirmation of locally identified inhibitors will provide valid and representative data with which to evaluate inhibitor incidence and prevalence, monitor trends in occurrence rates and identify potential inhibitor outbreaks associated with products.
- Comparative field study evaluating the activity of recombinant factor VIII Fc fusion protein in plasma samples at clinical haemostasis laboratories
Discrepancies exist for some of the modified coagulation factors when assayed with different one‐stage clotting and chromogenic substrate assay reagents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of a recombinant factor VIII Fc fusion protein (rFVIIIFc), currently in clinical development for the treatment of severe haemophilia A, in a variety of one‐stage clotting and chromogenic substrate assays in clinical haemostasis laboratories. Haemophilic plasma samples spiked with rFVIIIFc or Advate® at 0.05, 0.20 or 0.80 IU mL−1 were tested by 30 laboratories using their routine procedures and plasma standards. Data were evaluated for intra‐ and inter‐laboratory variation, accuracy and possible rFVIIIFc‐specific assay discrepancies. For the one‐stage assay, mean recovery was 95% to 100% of expected for both Advate® and rFVIIIFc at 0.8 IU mL−1. Intra‐laboratory percent coefficient of variance (CV) ranged from 6.3% to 7.8% for Advate®, and 6.0% to 10.3% for rFVIIIFc. Inter‐laboratory CV ranged from 10% for Advate® and 16% for rFVIIIFc at 0.8 IU mL−1, to over 30% at 0.05 IU mL−1 for both products. For the chromogenic substrate assay, the average FVIII recovery was 107% ± 5% and 124% ± 8% of label potency across the three concentrations of Advate® and rFVIIIFc, respectively. Plasma rFVIIIFc levels can be monitored by either the one‐stage or the chromogenic substrate assay routinely performed in clinical laboratories without the need for a product‐specific rFVIIIFc laboratory standard. Accuracy by the one‐stage assay was comparable to that of Advate®, while marginally higher results may be observed for rFVIIIFc when using the chromogenic assay.
- Association of overweight and obesity with the use of self and home‐based infusion therapy among haemophilic men
An elevated body mass index (BMI) may make venipuncture more difficult, potentially impacting the use of home infusion (HI) and self‐infusion (SI). We sought to determine whether above‐normal BMI is associated with decreased use of HI treatment and SI of clotting factor concentrate among haemophilic persons. We analysed data from 10 814 male patients with haemophilia A and B (45% with severe disease) aged 6–79 years enrolled in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Universal Data Collection surveillance project between 1998 and 2008. Associations between the use of HI and SI and BMI were evaluated using logistic regression. Fifty per cent of haemophilic men were overweight or obese, similar to rates reported among the general US population by the 2007–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [Flegal, KM et al., JAMA 2010;303:235–241;]. Twenty per cent of children and 22% of teens were obese, as were 28% of adults [Ogden, CL et al., JAMA 2010;303:235, 242]. Overall, 70% of the study sample used HI; 44% of those who used HI also used SI. Overweight and obese men were each less likely to use HI than those of normal weight [odds ratio (OR) 0.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.7–1.0 and OR 0.7; 95% CI 0.6–0.8 respectively]. Obese teens and adult men were also less likely to practice SI than teens and adults of normal weight (OR 0.8; 95% CI 0.7–0.9 for each). We conclude that overweight and obese haemophilic men are less likely to use HI and obese men are less likely to use SI than their normal‐weight counterparts.
- Autoimmune haemophilia in a teenager
- End‐stage haemophilic arthropathy of the ankle: ankle fusion or total ankle replacement
- Outcome measures monitoring physical function in children with haemophilia: a systematic review
Our objective was to provide a synthesis of measurement properties for performance‐based outcome measures used to evaluate physical function in children with haemophilia. A systematic review of articles published in English using Medline, PEDro, Cinahl and The Cochrane Library electronic databases was conducted. Studies were included if a performance‐based method, clinical evaluation or measurement tool was used to record an aspect of physical function in patients with haemophilia aged ≤ 18 years. Recording of self‐perceived or patient‐reported physical performance, abstracts, unpublished reports, case series reports and studies where the outcome measure was not documented or cross‐referenced was excluded. Description of outcome measures, patient characteristics, measurement properties for construct validity, internal consistency, repeatability, responsiveness and feasibility was extracted. Data synthesis of 41 studies evaluating 14 measures is reported. None of the outcome measures demonstrated the requirements for all the measurement properties. Data on validity and test–retest repeatability were most lacking together with studies of sufficient size. Measurement of walking and muscle strength demonstrated good repeatability and discriminative properties; however, correlation with other measures of musculoskeletal impairment requires investigation. The Haemophilia Joint Health Score demonstrated acceptable construct validity, internal consistency and repeatability, but the ability to discriminate changes in physical function is still to be determined. Rigorous evaluation of the measurement properties of performance‐based outcome measures used to monitor physical function of children with haemophilia in larger collaborative studies is required.
- Lessons from recurrent deep vein thrombosis in Glanzmann thrombasthenia
- Successful treatment of a lung cancer patient with factor XI deficiency
- Congenital factor XIII deficiency in women: a systematic review of literature
Factor XIII (FXIII) deficiency is a rare congenital bleeding disorder. There is a paucity of data in the literature about obstetrics and gynaecological problems in women affected by FXIII deficiency. The aim of this study was to examine gynaecological problems and obstetric complications and outcome in women with congenital FXIII deficiency. An electronic search was performed to identify the published literature on PUBMED, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Journals @OVID and CINAHL Plus databases using the following keywords: ‘congenital factor XIII deficiency’ AND ‘women OR Pregnancy’. A total of 39 relevant articles were found and included in this systematic review; 27 case reports and 12 case series dating from 1964 to 2012. A total of 121 women were identified. Menorrhagia (26%) was the second most common bleeding reported after umbilical bleeding. Ovulation bleeding reported in 8% of women. Among 63 women, 192 pregnancies were reported; of these, 127 (66%) resulted in a miscarriage and 65 (34%) reached viability stage. In 136 pregnancies without prophylactic therapy, 124 (91%) resulted in a miscarriage and 12(9%) progressed to viability stage. Antepartum haemorrhage occurred in 5/65 (8%) pregnancies reaching viability stage while postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) seen in 16 (25%) cases. Women with congenital FXIII deficiency suffer significant bleeding complications. Menorrhagia and ovulation bleeding are common gynaecological problems and more prevalent than reported. Pregnancies in women with FXIII deficiency have a significant risk of miscarriage, placental abruption and PPH if not on prophylaxis treatment.
- A systematic review of MR imaging as a tool for evaluating haemophilic arthropathy in children
Our purposes were to determine: (i) whether there is direct evidence that currently available MRI techniques are accurate for early diagnosis of pathological findings in haemophilic arthropathy; (ii) whether there is an MRI scoring system that best correlates with clinical/radiological constructs for evaluation of haemophilic arthropathy; (iii) whether there is an MRI scoring system that best correlates with clinical/radiological constructs for evaluation of haemophilic arthropathy. Articles were screened using MEDLINE (n = 566), EMBASE (n = 201), and the Cochrane Library (n = 1). Two independent reviewers assessed articles for inclusion under the overarching purposes of the review by using the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) tool, and the quality of the studies were graded using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS‐2) tool. The electronic literature search retrieved 777 references (after duplicates were removed). A total of 32 studies were chosen for inclusion from the results of the search and review of bibliographical references. Using the STARD tool, seven studies were of excellent quality of reporting, and using the QUADAS‐2 tool, 10 studies were judged to be of adequate quality. There is ‘fair’ evidence to recommend MRI as an accurate test for detecting evidence of haemophilic arthropathy and the use of second or third generation MRI scales for assessing haemophilic arthropathy. However, there is no evidence that screening of early intra‐articular soft tissue bleed with MRI improves the functional status of joints over time.
- The risk of elective orthopaedic surgery for haemophilia patients: Japanese single‐centre experience
Haemophilic arthropathy causes pain and a severely restricted range of motion, and results in a significant reduction in quality of life. When conservative treatments have failed, orthopaedic surgery is recommended for these patients with severe haemophilic arthropathy. However, surgery for haemophilia patients is challenging due to high complication rate such as infection, delayed wound healing and mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of early complications and identify preoperative risk factors of surgery for haemophilia patients. We report a series of haemophilia patients undergoing elective orthopaedic surgery between 2006 and 2012. During this period, 119 surgeries in 81 patients were prepared and 118 surgeries in 80 patients were actually performed. Four deep bacterial infections and four delayed wound healings occurred within 6 months postoperatively. One patient died preoperatively and four patients died postoperatively. Only the presence of inhibitor was a significant risk factor for infection. We found no risk factor related to delayed wound healing. Our data revealed alkaline phosphatase, albumin, platelet, alpha‐fetoprotein, presence of ascites and child classification C as predictors of perioperative mortality following elective orthopaedic surgery. Our role is to identify potential patients who present with risk factors for complications and attempt to seek the best determination of treatment strategy for these people.
- Using the Haemophilia Joint Health Score for assessment of teenagers and young adults: exploring reliability and validity
Outcome assessment in haemophilia is important to assess results of prophylactic treatment. Recently, the Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS) was developed to assess early joint damage in children with haemophilia. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess reliability and explore validity of the HJHS in teenagers and young adults with haemophilia. Twenty‐two patients with haemophilia (mean age 20.4, range 14–30, including 15 severe) were assessed by the HJHS1.0, Haemophilia Activities List (HAL), SF36 and self‐evaluation was performed using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scale. A subset of 12 patients were assessed by three physiotherapists to establish interobserver reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient: ICC). Total HJHS1.0 scores were calculated without overall global gait. Validity was explored by the assessment of Pearson's correlation with all outcome parameters and recent Pettersson scores. Overall outcome was good, with median HJHS score of 5.5 of a maximum 144 (range 0–34), median patients' VAS of 96.5 and maximum scores for HAL and SF36 physical functioning for the majority of patients. Pettersson scores were low (median 3.5 of 78, N = 18). Interobserver reliability was good (ICC 0.84), with limits of agreement of ±7.2 points. ICC was unaffected by different score calculation methods. Exploration of validity in 22 patients showed weak correlations of HJHS scores with patients' VAS (0.33) and HAL (−0.40) and strong correlations with SF36‐PF (−0.66) and Pettersson scores (0.86). These results suggest that interobserver reliability of the HJHS1.0 in teenagers and young adults with limited joint damage is excellent. Preliminary data on validity were similar or better than those in children.
- An ‘ice age’ concept' The use of ice in the treatment of acute haemarthrosis in haemophilia
- Haemophilic magnetic resonance imaging score in healthy controls playing sports
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most sensitive imaging modality to assess joint lesions, but the clinical relevance of subtle joint changes in haemophilic patients playing sports is unknown. A haemophilia specific MRI score is available, but was never evaluated in physically active healthy controls. It is not known if unexpected MRI changes in young active haemophilic patients are due to sports participation. The aim of this study was to evaluate knees and ankles in a cohort of young active healthy men using a haemophilia specific MRI score to provide context for joint evaluation by MRI in young haemophilic patients. Three Tesla MRI of knees and ankles were performed in 30 healthy men aged 18–26 years, regularly active in sports. MR images were scored by a single independent radiologist, using the International Prophylaxis Study Group additive MRI score. One physiotherapist assessed clinical function using the Haemophilia joint health scores (HJHS). History of complaints or injuries affecting knees and/or ankles, very intensive sports and current sports activities were documented. Median age was 24.3 years (range 19.0–26.4) and median number of sports activities per week was 3 (range 1–4). Six joints (five knees, one ankle) had a history of a sports‐related injury. The median HJHS per joint was 0 out of 20 (range 0–1). All joints had a MRI score of 0. These results suggest that regular sports participation or very low HJHS scores are not associated with haemophilia specific MRI changes in knees and ankles.
- Malposition and expulsion of the levonorgestrel intrauterine system among women with inherited bleeding disorders
The levonorgestrel‐releasing intrauterine system (LNG‐IUS) is indicated for the management of menorrhagia and for contraception. The LNG‐IUS is effective at reducing menstrual bleeding and improving haemoglobin among women with bleeding disorders. Expulsion rates for the LNG‐IUS among normal women are reported to be approximately 5–10%. The aim of this study was to examine the malposition and expulsion rates of the LNG‐IUS among women with inherited bleeding disorders. We conducted a retrospective study of women with an inherited bleeding disorder in Kingston, Canada treated with an LNG‐IUS between May 2005 and June 2012. The primary outcome was a combined endpoint of expulsion and/or malposition. Predetermined secondary outcomes were patient satisfaction and changes in haemoglobin and ferritin levels. The median age of the women at the time of LNG‐IUS insertion was 31 years (range 18–43, mean 32.1 years). The most common diagnosis was type 1 VWD (12/20, 60%). There were three LNG‐IUS expulsions and two episodes of device malposition resulting in removal [5/20 (25.0%), 95% CI 11.2–46.9%]. An additional five women had their device removed prematurely. The overall proportion of devices resulting in discontinuation in this population was 10/20 (50.0%, 95% CI 29.9–70.1%). In this retrospective study, a significant proportion of women with an inherited bleeding disorder had an LGN‐IUS removed due to poor patient satisfaction, malposition, or expulsion. Further studies into the causes of higher complication rates and interventions such as premedication or prolonged treatment with antifibrinolytic agents targeted at improving outcomes in this population are required.
- Progressive improvement in wound healing with increased therapy in haemophilia B mice
Previous work has shown that normalized haemostasis only at the time of an injury is not sufficient to promote optimal wound healing in haemophilia B (HB) mice. However, the duration of treatment required for optimal healing has not been established. The goal of these studies was to determine the effect of different durations of replacement or bypassing therapy [factor IX(FIX) or factor VIIa (FVIIa)] on wound healing parameters in a mouse model of HB. A dermal wound was placed on the back of HB mice. Animals were either untreated or pretreated and then subsequently treated for 3 days, 5 days, or 7 days with FIX or FVIIa. Wound area, time to wound healing, haematoma formation and iron deposition were measured. All treated animals showed shortened time to healing relative to untreated animals. Haematoma formation was prevented by treatment and bleeding into the wounds, measured by iron scores, was reduced by treatment. In addition, there was a progressive improvement in healing with 7 days of treatment more effective than 5 days which was more effective than 3 days. Replacement therapy with FIX had slightly shorter healing times than bypassing therapy with FVIIa. HB mice treated with FIX had slightly smaller wound area than untreated animals; by contrast, FVIIa‐treated animals had much smaller wound areas that were close to the wound areas seen in wild‐type animals. The data suggest that sustained therapy is required for normal wound healing.
- Comparison of a new chemiluminescent immunoassay for von Willebrand factor activity with the ristocetin cofactor‐induced platelet agglutination method
Measuring von Willebrand factor (VWF) activity is essential for the diagnosis of von Willebrand disease (VWD). The VWF activity is usually assessed based on measurement of the ristocetin cofactor (VWF:RCo). However, that test is technically challenging and has high intra‐ and inter‐assay variabilities. A new automated chemiluminescent immunoassay VWF activity has recently become commercially available (HemosIL AcuStar von Willebrand Factor Ristocetin Cofactor Activity). The main objective of this study was to evaluate this new method and to compare it with the VWF:RCo assay as the reference method. We studied 91 samples, 18 healthy volunteers samples and 73 samples from patients (VWF:RCo level <50 IU dL−1): 29 type 1 VWD, 13 type 2A, 5 type 2B, 5 type 2M, 3 type 2N, 5 type 3, 4 type 3 under treatment, 5 type 3 carriers and 4 samples with other pathologies. The HemosIL AcuStar VWF:RCo assay was 96% sensitive and 100% specific for detecting VWF abnormalities. The good analytical performance, and the sensitivity and specificity of HemosIL AcuStar VWF:RCo to detect VWF deficiency renders it a suitable method for VWD screening.
- The bone disease associated with factor VIII deficiency in mice is secondary to increased bone resorption
Osteopenia and osteoporosis have increasingly become a recognized morbidity of factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency. Recently, we demonstrated that FVIII knockout (KO) mice had significantly decreased bone mass and bone strength despite the fact that they did not have haemarthroses. The aim of this study was to explore the mechanism of bone disease associated with FVIII deficiency. We compared biochemical markers of bone formation and osteoclastogenesis, inflammatory cytokines, as well as static and dynamic histomorphometry of genetically engineered FVIII KO male mice to those of wild‐type (WT) controls. At 20 weeks of age, FVIII KO mice, as well as WT controls, were sacrificed. Serum and bones were obtained at the time of sacrifice to study biochemical markers of bone formation (osteocalcin) and osteoclastogenesis (receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa‐β and osteoprotegerin), levels of inflammatory cytokines (interleukin‐1α and interferon‐β) and to perform static and dynamic histomorphometry of tibia cancellous bone. There was no difference in the biochemical markers of bone formation or osteoclastogenesis. However, there were differences in the two bone‐associated cytokines studied. In addition, histomorphometric examination revealed cancellous osteopenia in FVIII KO mice as evidenced by decreased bone area and trabecular number and increased trabecular separation. Bone formation parameters were normal in FVIII KO mice. In contrast, osteoclast‐lined bone perimeter was increased. These data demonstrate that bone disease in FVIII KO mice is due to an increased rate of bone resorption.
- Prolonged effect of a new O‐glycoPEGylated FVIII (N8‐GP) in a murine saphenous vein bleeding model
Prophylaxis in severe haemophilia significantly increases health‐related quality of life for patients, but the dosing frequency still constitutes a challenge. Thus, there is a need for new treatment options, utilizing compounds with longer duration of action, while still maintaining potency. The objective of this study was to evaluate the acute and prolonged effects of a new glycoPEGylated recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) (N8‐GP) in a venous bleeding model in haemophilia A mice and to compare the efficacy and potency to turoctocog alfa (rFVIII). Following intravenous administration of turoctocog alfa or N8‐GP to normal and FVIII‐deficient mice, bleeding time and blood loss from a saphenous vein incision were evaluated in an acute dose–response study and a duration of action study. In the acute setting, N8‐GP dose dependently reduced the number and duration of bleeding episodes as well as blood loss compared to FVIII‐deficient mice, reaching statistical significance at doses as low as 5–10 U kg−1. In the duration of action study, a significantly prolonged and maintained effect of N8‐GP was found for up to 48 h after dosing, whereas the effect of rFVIII was no longer present for any end‐points 24 h after dosing. Seventy‐two hours after dosing, no significant effect of either compound was found. This study shows a prolonged haemostatic effect of N8‐GP compared to rFVIII supporting other recent studies that N8‐GP may hold a potential to increase the quality of life for patients with haemophilia A by reducing dosing frequency.
- Cardiac catheterization and intervention in haemophilia patients: prospective evaluation of the 2009 institutional guideline
Ageing haemophilia patients are increasingly confronted with ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Treatment is complex because of the delicate equilibrium between bleeding and thrombosis. In 2009, we developed an institutional guideline on how to treat IHD in this patient population. The aim of this study was to evaluate feasibility and safety of this guideline. Haemophilia patients who underwent coronary angiography or percutaneous coronary intervention between January 2009 and June 2012 were included in the current case series. Nine diagnostic or therapeutic cardiac catheterizations were performed in six haemophilia patients. One patient with moderate haemophilia B was included, whereas the other patients had mild haemophilia A. In six of nine procedures, access to the circulation was gained via the radial artery. Only bare‐metal stents were implanted, after which dual antiplatelet treatment was given for at least 4 weeks. During cardiac catheterization/intervention and dual antiplatelet treatment, clotting factor levels were corrected. No thrombotic or clinically relevant bleeding complications occurred. In one patient, a low‐titre inhibitor recurred 10 months after catheterization. In‐stent restenosis was diagnosed in one patient. This case series indicates that treatment according to the guideline is feasible and safe. Furthermore, based on the case series and developments in new guidelines for non‐haemophilic patients with IHD, some adjustments on the 2009 guideline are proposed.
- Immune tolerance induction in haemophilia A patients with inhibitors by treatment with recombinant factor VIII: a retrospective non‐interventional study
Immune tolerance induction (ITI) can overcome inhibitory factor VIII (FVIII) antibodies in haemophilia A patients receiving FVIII replacement therapy. The objective was to valuate the use of sucrose‐formulated, full‐length recombinant FVIII (rFVIII‐FS) for ITI therapy. Patients ( <8 years at ITI start) with severe haemophilia A and a peak inhibitor titre >5 Bethesda units (BU) who underwent ITI with any rFVIII‐FS dose for ≥9 months (or until success) were eligible for this retrospective study. Efficacy analyses included descriptions of ITI treatment regimens and outcomes; ITI success was determined solely at the discretion of the investigator. Safety analyses included assessment of adverse events. Of 51 enrolled patients, 32 [high dose (≥85 IU kg−1 day−1), n = 21; low dose, n = 11] were eligible for analysis. ITI was successful in 69% (22/32) of patients (high dose, 66.7%; low dose, 72.7%) after a median of 1.4 years (range, 0.1–3.6 years). Influencing factors for ITI success were start of ITI <1 year after inhibitor detection and an inhibitor titre <10 BU at ITI start. All patients successfully tolerized with ITI continued to receive rFVIII‐FS prophylaxis as maintenance therapy, with no inhibitor recurrence from the end of ITI until study enrolment. Use of rFVIII‐FS for ITI was effective and well tolerated; success rates were similar to those in published studies.
- Magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound evaluation of “healthy” joints in young subjects with severe haemophilia A
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonography (US) are increasingly used in haemophilia A (HA) to detect early joint changes. A total of 40 clinically asymptomatic joints, never involved by bleeding events [“healthy joints” (HJ)], were evaluated by MRI and, in parallel, by US in 20 young subjects with severe HA (22.45 ± 2.72 years old; no history of arthritides, of viral infections or of inhibitors against factor VIII). The same joints were evaluated in 20 matched non‐haemophilic (no‐HA) subjects (mean age 23.90 ± 2.31 years, P = 0.078 vs. HA subjects). US images were obtained with specific probe positions according to validated procedures. A validated US score and progressive (P‐MRI) and additive (A‐MRI) MRI scores were employed for data collection and analysis. The US score was higher in HA than in no‐HA subjects (3.40 ± 1.72 vs. 0.80 ± 1.10, P < 0.001). Taking into account only moderate/severe alterations, joint effusion was found in 55% of HA and in 5% of no‐HA joints (P < 0.001); synovial hypertrophy was found in 20% of HA and in none of the no‐HA joints; cartilage erosion was found in 30% of HA and in none of no‐HA joints. MRI examinations confirmed these findings and the US score correlated with the A‐MRI (r = 0.732, P < 0.001) and with the P‐MRI (r = 0.598, P < 0.001) scores. MRI and US data significantly correlated as to effusion (r = 0.819, P = 0.002), synovial hypertrophy (r = 0.633, P = 0.036) and cartilage erosion (r = 0.734, P = 0.010). Despite inherent limitations, joint US examination identified subclinical abnormalities of HJ in young subjects with severe HA.
- The Rodin (Research Of Determinants of INhibitor Development among PUPs with haemophilia) study: the clinical conundrum from the perspective of haemophilia treaters
- Monitoring rFVIII prophylaxis dosing using global haemostasis assays
Secondary factor VIII (FVIII) prophylaxis converts severe haemophiliacs (FVIII:C < 1 IU dL−1) to a moderate phenotype (FVIII:C ≥ 1 IU dL−1), however, plasma FVIII:C is a poor predictor of bleeding risk. This study used thromboelastography (TEG) and thrombin generation assay (TGA) to quantify coagulation across a 48 h rFVIII prophylaxis period. 10 severe haemophiliacs with varying clinical bleeding phenotypes received their standard rFVIII prophylaxis dose and blood samples were obtained over 48 h. Measured parameters included FVIII:C, TEG and TGA at each time point. FVIII:C pharmacokinetics (PK) and correlation between global assay parameters was performed. The FVIII:C PK parameters were consistent with previous literature. There was significant correlation between FVIII:C and TEG R‐time and aPTT (both P < 0.001). Significant correlations existed between FVIII:C and TGA peak, ETP and velocity parameters (all P < 0.001). At 24 h the TEG parameters were sub‐therapeutic despite median FVIII:C of 13.0 IU dL−1. TGA was sensitive to FVIII:C below 1 IU dL−1. Those with the severest bleeding phenotype had the lowest TGA parameters. There was significant correlation between FVIII:C and TEG and TGA. TEG lost sensitivity at 48 h, but not TGA. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether these data can be used to design individualized rFVIII prophylaxis regimens.
- Evaluation of the FXIII deficiency prophylaxis intervals in large number of FXIII deficiency patients from Iran
- Attitudes and practices with regard to circumcision in haemophilia patients in Southern Iran
- Haemophilia stress fractures – an increasing complication with better orthopaedic care
- Clinical profile of the association of P.R1205h and P.R924q in a patient with von Willebrand's disease
- Ankle fusion in patients with haemophilia
Ankle fusion in patients with haemophilia is a well‐accepted treatment for end‐stage arthropathy. However, current published outcome data are based on small sample sizes and generally short‐term follow‐up. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long‐term results of ankle fusion in a large group of haemophilic patients treated at a single institution. The results of 57 ankle fusions performed on 45 patients between 1971 and 2010 were reviewed retrospectively. Data were gathered for type and severity of haemophilia, HIV status, fixation technique, postoperative complications and requirement of additional surgeries. A modified American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) hindfoot score was calculated for 20 ankles available for follow‐up. Patients were followed for a mean of 6.6 years. There were no intra‐operative or immediate postoperative complications related to fusion of the ankle. The overall non‐union rate was 10.4% for tibio‐talar fusion and 8.3% for sub‐talar fusion. This rate was reduced to 3.7% and 5.6%, respectively, after the introduction of newer surgical techniques in 1995. None of these non‐unions required revision surgery. The modified AOFAS scale demonstrated that 75% had no pain in the operated ankle a mean of 7.2 years following surgery. The remaining 25% scored their average pain as 3 of 10. The functional portion of the score suggested that patients have good alignment, minimal activity limitations or gait abnormalities, and can walk long distances. We conclude that ankle fusion successfully relieves pain and provides a good functional outcome. It is an appropriate treatment for end‐stage haemophilic arthropathy of the ankle.
- Port‐A‐Cath infection causes inhibitor recurrence after initial successful ITI
- Coronary artery calcification score and carotid intima media thickness in patients with von Willebrand disease
- Molecular basis of quantitative fibrinogen disorders in 27 patients from India
Congenital fibrinogen deficiency is an extremely rare (1:1 000 000) hereditary bleeding disorder caused by defects in genes coding for fibrinogen Aα‐, Bβ‐ and γ‐chains, respectively. We report here the molecular basis of fibrinogen deficiency in a large series of patients from India. Twenty‐seven patients with clinical features suggestive of fibrinogen deficiency and with prolonged plasma clotting times and low fibrinogen levels were studied. Genomic DNA was screened for mutations in the fibrinogen alpha (FGA), beta (FGB), gamma (FGG) genes by PCR and conformation sensitive gel electrophoresis. Fourteen different disease‐causing mutations including frameshifts (51.9%), splice site (22.2%), missense (18.5%) and nonsense mutation (7.4%) were identified in 27 patients. Thirteen of them were novel, including seven frameshifts (fibrinogen Aα: p.Asp296 fs*59, p.Thr466 fs*17 and p.Lys575 fs*74; fibrinogen Bβ: p.Gly414 fs*2 and fibrinogen γ: p.Ser81 fs*5, p.Lys185 fs*13 and p.Asp278_279 fs*17), three splice site mutations (FGA gene c.364+1G>A; c.510+2 T>G; FGB gene c.851+1G>A), two missense substitutions (fibrinogen Bβ: p.Gly288Ser; p.Arg445Thr) and a nonsense mutation in fibrinogen Aα (p.Tyr127*). Two common mutations (FGA: c.364+1G>A, n = 6, FGG: p.Lys185 fs*13, n = 7) affecting 13 patients were identified in this series, suggesting that these mutations could be screened first in Indian patients with fibrinogen deficiency. The molecular data presented here is the largest series of patients with fibrinogen deficiency reported so far, adding significantly to the mutation database of this condition. It also helps create an algorithm for its genetic diagnosis in India.
- Potential for development of haemophilia link nurse role within UK hospitals
Link nurses are practising nurses with an expressed interest in a given specialty, with formal links to clinical nurse specialists and other specialist staff. The role involves attending meetings to discuss ideas and new developments, and relaying findings to other ward nurses to improve their practice. Such nurses are common in many specialties such as diabetes and tissue viability. In haemophilia, the role has the potential to enhance the care of haemophilia patients on general hospital wards. In April 2012, a focus group of five haemophilia nurses was convened to discuss their experiences of ‘link nurse’ programmes within district general hospitals and the potential value of developing the haemophilia link nurse role, and to consider the materials needed to support such role development. It was agreed to test whether other haemophilia nurses perceived such a need by means of a short five‐item questionnaire devised by the group and made available to all members of the UK's Haemophilia Nurse's Association via Survey‐Monkey. Final responses from 59 haemophilia nurses across the UK have been analysed. Most nurses agreed that there was value in the development of a haemophilia link nurse role within UK hospitals and thought their trusts would support it. While barriers and potential downsides were acknowledged, this was seen as a useful way of sharing information and knowledge with colleagues from different specialties and of raising awareness of bleeding disorders among the general nursing community. Haemophilia nurses should coordinate the development of a Haemophilia Link Nurse training and education pack.
- Identification of a homozygous Cys410Ser mutation in the von Willebrand factor D2 domain causing type 2A(IIC) von Willebrand disease phenotype in an Iranian patient
- The effect of labour on the coagulation system in the term neonate
The coagulation system of the foetus is markedly different from that of adults. To assess the influence of maternal age, mode of delivery and intrapartum events, and foetal gender and weight on the foetal coagulation system. Cord blood was collected from 154 healthy pregnant women, with gestational age 37 – 42 weeks at birth. Mann–Whitney test was used for analysis of binary data and continuous variables were analysed using Pearson's correlation coefficient. Mean cord blood levels of FVIII:C, VWF:Ag, VWF:CB, FIX, FXI, FXII and plasminogen were significantly higher in babies delivered after labour, compared to those delivered after an elective caesarean. Mean cord blood levels of FII (P = 0.003), FV (P = 0.009), FVII (P = 0.0004) and FX (P = 0.0009) were significantly lower in the babies with meconium stained liquor in labour, compared with those with clear liquor. Augmentation with oxytocin, instrumental delivery, did not affect any of the factor levels and duration of labour did not have an effect on the level of coagulation proteins in cord blood. This study provides valuable information about effect of labour on the coagulation system of the foetus. It is concluded that, in cord blood, the results of coagulation parameters in the newborn baby should be considered in light of mode of delivery and events of labour.
- Haemophilia care in Europe – a survey of 35 countries
A questionnaire was circulated in 2012 to national haemophilia patient organizations in Europe affiliated to the European Haemophilia Consortium (EHC) and the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) to seek information about the organization of haemophilia care and treatment available at a national level. The 35 responses received highlighted major differences in the availability of treatment and care. There was a wide range in factor VIII consumption with usage ranging from 0.20 IU per capita in Armenia to 8.56 IU per capita in Sweden (median: IU per capita). The decrease in health budgets in many countries was not matched by decreases in use of FVIII per capita. In the 19 countries that responded to the previous survey, there was a significant improvement in access to prophylaxis and home treatment.
- The challenges of the homeless haemophilia patient
The current economic hardships within the United States can increase the risk of persons becoming homeless. In 2001, it was estimated that between 0.1% and 2.1% of the population were homeless every night and that 2.3 – 3.5 million persons could become homeless every year . Many issues can increase the risk of homelessness including: home foreclosure, declining work force due to declining wages, low‐wage opportunities and less secure jobs, decline in public assistance, lack of affordable housing with limited housing assistance programs, poverty, lack of affordable health care, domestic violence, mental illness, and addiction disorders. Many on the streets may suffer from mental illness, developmental disabilities, and or chronic physical illness . Given these issues, the Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) can expect to experience the issue of homelessness within their own population of persons with hemophilia. Currently, there are no studies that address the issue of the person with hemophilia who may become homeless. This presents unique challenges that this population may encounter to survive in addition to managing bleeding issues related to the diagnosis of hemophilia. This article will review the issues related to homelessness in the general population. Two case studies of persons with hemophilia who became homeless will be discussed outlining the strategies utilized to assist the patient during this crisis.
- Product‐dependent anti‐factor VIII antibodies
The development of anti‐factor (F)VIII antibodies in haemophilia A (HA) subjects undergoing replacement therapy has been well documented. The correlation between antibody development and the FVIII product used for replacement therapy remains a subject of discussion. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of anti‐FVIII antibodies towards three commercial rFVIII products in 34 HA subjects’ plasmas. Antibodies were quantitated by a Multiplex Fluorescence Immunoassay. All plasmas contained anti‐FVIII antibodies at variable concentrations ranging from 50 nm to 570 μm. Eleven of the 20 HA subjects treated with one (r)FVIII product contained inhibitory anti‐FVIII antibodies (0.8‐3584 BU). The inhibitory antibody titre and the molar concentrations of total antibody were mildly correlated (r2 = 0.6). Pronounced differences in antibody recognition with the three rFVIII products were observed. For the group treated with Product ‘A’, the titre towards this product was 2.4‐fold higher than that observed with another full‐length rFVIII‐containing product (Product ‘B’) and almost four‐fold higher than that measured with a B domain‐less rFVIII product (Product ‘C’). For the group of 14 HA subjects treated with FVIII other than Product ‘A’, only one showed higher antibody titre when measured with this product. Our data suggest that the development of anti‐FVIII antibodies is biased towards the product used for treatment and that a significant fraction of antibodies bind to the B domain of FVIII.
- Real‐world outcomes with recombinant factor VIIa treatment of acute bleeds in haemophilia patients with inhibitors: results from the international ONE registry
The ONE Registry (OR) was an international prospective observational study of on‐demand recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) treatment for mild to moderate bleeds in haemophilia A/B patients with inhibitors. To describe real‐world use of single and multi dose rFVIIa and to compare outcomes, including effectiveness, safety, quality of life and treatment satisfaction associated with treatment. Baseline data included demographics, treatment, medical and bleed history and patient/caregiver‐reported outcomes regarding bleeds. rFVIIa was prescribed according to routine practice; regimens varied and initial dose was categorized as low (LD, ≤120 μg kg−1), intermediate (ID, >120 and <250 μg kg−1) or high (HD, ≥250 μg kg−1). OR included 102 patients and 85 (83%) reported 494 bleeds overall. Mean age was 23 years (SD 16.4), with 52% ≥18 years. Majority of bleeds (n = 350, 71%) involved ≥1 joints; 46% involved a target joint. Median initial dose was 90 μg kg−1 in LD (range 87–120, n = 156), 174 μg kg−1 in ID, (range 121–249, n = 127) and 270 μg kg−1 in HD, (range 250–375, n = 211). For spontaneous bleeds, effective haemostasis rate at 9 h was 63% LD, 60% ID and 56% HD. Rates of combined partially effective/effective haemostasis was 85% LD, 96% ID and 86% HD. Median number of doses in HD was one (range 1–7), compared with two in LD (range 1–17) and ID (range 1–23). No thromboembolic events were reported in 1145 doses given. These observational data in real life are consistent with previous studies which have shown similar overall effectiveness of rFVIIa and similar effectiveness and safety across different patterns of standard initial dosing.
- Patient‐reported outcomes of 182 adults with severe haemophilia in Germany comparing prophylactic vs. on‐demand replacement therapy
Clotting factor replacement therapy has a major impact on the quality of life in patients with haemophilia. To analyse and compare the outcomes of on‐demand and prophylactic treatment regimens in child‐ and adulthood, a self‐evaluation questionnaire was sent to 182 patients over 30 years of age with severe haemophilia A or B. Analysis of the questionnaire results revealed that most study participants had been treated on‐demand in childhood, but that the majority of these patients subsequently switched to prophylaxis. However, of those patients who began with prophylaxis as children, the vast majority maintained prophylactic treatment as adults. Inhibitor development was reported significantly more frequently by patients who started with on‐demand treatment than by those who started with prophylaxis. In the year prior to completing the questionnaire, adults with severe haemophilia who received prophylactic treatment reported a significantly lower incidence of bleeding as a result of more frequent factor consumption. These results are in close accordance with published prospective data. Although nearly all patients with severe haemophilia had joint pain due to bleeding, those who had always had prophylactic treatment reported superior outcomes in terms of the need for joint replacement, walking speed and distance, participation in school sports and further education. These data clearly underline the superiority of prophylactic treatment for the majority of individuals with severe haemophilia. The worst outcomes were found in those treated on‐demand in childhood who later switched to prophylaxis. In contrast to most studies which have compared treatment regimens on the basis of data from healthcare professionals, this study reflects treatment outcomes from the patient's perspective.
- Intracranial haemorrhage in von Willebrand disease: a report on six cases
The incidence of intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) in von Willebrand disease (VWD) is not well documented. We describe our single centre experience regarding ICH in children with VWD and identify how such children presented and were managed. Thirty‐three head trauma events leading to medical attention occurred in 24 of 153 children with VWD followed in our institution. In only 15 of these were computed tomography (CT) imaging studies performed; seven in children with type 1 VWD, one in a child with type 2N VWD and seven in children with type 3 VWD. In six of these 15 episodes an ICH was identified: two children with type 1 VWD, one child with type 2N VWD and three children with type 3 VWD. In two of the 6 cases an ICH was only confirmed following a second CT scan. Neurological symptoms, including vomiting (noted in all six), headache, irritability, lethargy and/or alteration in the level of consciousness were present in all children with confirmed ICH. In contrast vomiting, irritability and alterations in level of consciousness were never present in those children without confirmed ICH. All three children with type 3 VWD who experienced an ICH were commenced on long‐term prophylaxis. ICH, although rare, does occur in children with VWD and particularly in children with type 3 VWD. A much larger cohort of patients with VWD experiencing an ICH is needed to make recommendations regarding treatment of such events, including the role of prophylaxis in patients with more severe forms of VWD.
- Tranexamic acid without prophylactic factor replacement for prevention of bleeding in hereditary bleeding disorder patients undergoing endoscopy: a pilot study
The risk of bleeding in patients with hereditary bleeding disorders (HBD) undergoing gastro‐intestinal (GI) endoscopic procedures is unknown but guidelines generally recommend correction of factor deficiency. Investigate the safety of oral tranexamic acid (TA) without prophylactic factor replacement to prevent bleeding complications in patients with HBD undergoing elective GI endoscopic procedures. A prospective single‐arm pilot study testing the feasibility of using TA, without prophylactic factor replacement or desmopressin preprocedure, for prevention of bleeding complications following elective standard risk ( <1% risk of bleeding) endoscopic procedures in patients with HBD. Baseline factor levels, haemoglobin and iron studies (IS) were measured preprocedure. Primary outcome of bleeding (NCI CTCAE v3.0 Bleeding Scale) was undertaken by patient review and repeat Hb, IS on day 21. Twenty‐eight patients underwent 32 GI endoscopic procedures from September 2010 until June 2012. The median age was 53 years (range 24–75 years) and disease types included mild haemophilia A/B (n = 12), severe haemophilia A/B (n = 9), von Willebrand disease (n = 5), FXI deficiency (n = 1) and FVII deficiency (n = 1). Procedures performed included 11 gastroscopies, 12 colonoscopies, 8 gastroscopies and colonoscopies and 1 flexible sigmoidoscopy. Fourteen standard risk procedures and two high risk procedures were performed. Two patients experienced Grade 1 bleeding and one patient experienced Grade 2 bleeding. This study suggests that TA without prophylactic factor replacement may be a safe approach for mild and moderate HBD patients undergoing standard risk endoscopic procedures, particularly where no biopsy is performed. These findings should be confirmed in a larger study.
- Models for institutional and professional accreditation of haemophilia centres in Italy
The Health Commission of the Conference between the Italian State and Regions recognized the need to establish an institutional accreditation model for Haemophilia Centres (HCs) to be implemented by 21 Regions in order to provide patients with haemophilia and allied inherited coagulations disorders with high and uniform standards of care. The Italian National Blood Centre, on behalf of the Commission, convened a panel of clinicians, patients, experts, representatives from Regions and Ministry of Health. The agreed methodology included: systematic literature review and best practice collection, analysis of provisions and regulations of currently avalable services, priority setting, definition of principles and criteria for the development of recommendations on the optimal requirements for HCs. The result was the formulation of two recommendations sets. Two sets of recommendations were produced. The first concerns regional policy planning, in which the following aspects of comprehensive haemophilia care should be considered for implementation: monitoring and auditing, multidisciplinary approach to clinical care, protocols for emergency management, home treatment and its monitoring, patient registries, drug availability and procurement, recruitment and training of health care professionals. The second set concerns the accreditation process and lists 23 organizational requirements for level 1 HCs and 4 additional requirements for level 2 HCs. These recommendations help to provide Italian Regional Health Authorities with an organizational framework for the provision of comprehensive care to patients with inherited coagulation disorders based on current scientific evidence.
- Protected by nature' Effects of strenuous physical exercise on FVIII activity in moderate and mild haemophilia A patients: a pilot study
Increase of factor VIII activity (FVIII) after physical exercise has been reported in healthy subjects and small‐scale studies in patients with coagulopathies. The aim was to study whether moderate and mild haemophilia A patients are able to increase their endogenous FVIII activity levels by physical activity. We studied changes in FVIII activity levels after high‐intensity exercise in 15 haemophilia A patients, 20–39 years, eight with moderate, seven with mild haemophilia. Patients cycled until volitional exhaustion, blood samples were drawn before and 10 min after the exercise test. FVIII activity increased 2.5 times (range 1.8–7.0 times), for both severities. Absolute increases were markedly different: median 7 IU dL−1 (range 3–9 IU dL−1) in patients with moderate, compared to 15 IU dL−1 (range 6–62 IU dL−1) in mild haemophilia patients. VWF and VWFpp increased independently of severity; median 50% (range 8–123%) and median 165% (range 48–350%), respectively, reflecting acute release of VWF. These observations may be used to promote high‐intensity activities before participating in sports for moderate and mild haemophilia A patients, to reduce bleeding risk. Further studies are warranted to fully appreciate the clinical significance of exercise on different levels of intensity in patients with mild and moderate haemophilia A.
- Successful percutaneous coronary intervention in a patient with combined deficiency of FV and FVIII due to novel compound heterozygous mutations in LMAN1
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with congenital coagulation factor deficiencies presents a unique challenge. They are not only at increased risk of perioperative bleeding but can also suffer thrombosis of the stent as preventive anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy is difficult. Several cases of successful PCI have been described in patients with haemophilia A and B, but there are no reports in patients with combined coagulation factor deficiencies. We used PCI to treat the coronary artery disease in a patient with the combined deficiency of factor V and factor VIII (F5F8D) and analysed the molecular basis of the disorder for this patient. A 68‐year‐old patient was admitted for urgent PCI with bare metal stent placement after the diagnosis of the F5F8D. Peripheral blood DNA was extracted for the sequence analysis of LMAN1 and MCFD2 genes. Mutations in LMAN1 was confirmed by molecular cloning of the PCR product and resequencing of the resulting clones. The patient underwent successful PCI with good long‐term outcome. Our patient tolerated anticoagulation therapy well, with unfractionated heparin, and double antiplatelet therapy while he was initially supported with fresh frozen plasma and recombinant FVIII. Molecular analysis revealed that the patient carries unusual compound heterozygous frameshift mutations on the same microsatellite repeat region in exon 8 of LMAN1, one of which is a novel mutation (c.912delA). Our results suggest that patients with F5F8D can safely undergo PCI for coronary artery disease, with the treatment individualized to the specific patient.
- Response to the Letter to the Editor by Ewenstein BM and Reininger AJ
- Variability in platelet‐ and collagen‐binding defects in type 2M von Willebrand disease
Type 2M von Willebrand disease (VWD) includes qualitative defects in von Willebrand factor (VWF) function, with normal multimer distribution but a defect in VWF activity with respect to platelet or collagen binding. We characterized novel VWF gene mutations found in type 2M VWD subjects enrolled in the Zimmerman Program for the Molecular and Clinical Biology of VWD. Subjects were enrolled based on a pre‐existing diagnosis of type 2M VWD. Testing included full‐length gene sequencing, VWF antigen (VWF:Ag), VWF ristocetin cofactor activity (VWF:RCo), VWF collagen binding and multimer distribution. Recombinant VWF variants were synthesized using site‐directed mutagenesis and expressed in HEK293T cells. Platelet binding was measured by flow cytometry with fixed platelets and ELISA with recombinant glycoprotein Ibα (GPIbα). Four novel VWF A1 domain mutations were found in individuals with type 2M VWD: S1358N, S1387I, S1394F and Q1402P. All subjects had a history of bleeding, VWF:RCo < 40 IU dL−1, VWF:RCo/VWF:Ag ratios <0.6 and normal multimer distribution. No defect in expression, secretion, or multimerization was found for any of the mutations. All showed decreased binding to intact platelets, and decreased or absent binding to a mutant GPIbα construct with spontaneous VWF binding. 1387I had decreased binding to all collagen types tested. 1402P had reduced binding exclusively to type VI collagen. Type 2M VWD is a heterogeneous category comprised of both collagen‐ and platelet‐binding defects. Understanding the precise defect for each mutation may ultimately lead to better diagnosis and treatment.
- The impact of haemarthropathy on the QoL of Korean severe haemophilia A patients: the critical level of haemarthropathy for the QoL
The minimum goal of secondary prophylaxis may be to delay the progression of haemarthropathy below a critical level over which it has a great impact on the QoL of haemophilia patients. However, the critical level of haemarthropathy may be different across countries. For these reasons, the impact of haemarthropathy on the QoL in Korean haemophilia A patients was investigated. Depending on observed Pettersson scores of 27 severe haemophilia A patients, they were divided into three groups, P (Pettersson score) ≤10, P11~19 and P ≥ 20 groups. The QoL of each patient, assessed by the SF36, was compared between the groups. In addition, the changes in the QoL of the patients were observed according to the changes of Pettersson scores to find out the critical level of arthropathy. None of the scores of the SF36 scales were different between the P ≤ 10 and P11~19 groups. In contrast, the scores of PF and MH scales were significantly different between the P11~19 and P ≥ 20 groups. When changes in the scores of each scale in the SF36 were observed according to changes in Pettersson scores, the average P score of 13.0 ± 2.7 was thought to be the critical level of haemarthropathy because above that level, haemarthropathy and physical and mental health of the patients rapidly deteriorated. The progression of haemarthropathy to the critical level should be delayed as long as possible to prevent or to delay a rapid deterioration of the QoL of Korean patients with haemophilia.
- Physical activity and functional abilities in adult males with haemophilia: a cross‐sectional survey from a single US haemophilia treatment centre
Physical activity and functional ability are important determinants of quality of life and these metrics are affected by both haemophilia and ageing. Outside haemophilic arthropathy, risk factors leading to reduced physical activity and function in people with haemophilia (PWH) are under‐explored. The purpose of this analysis was to determine risk factors for reduced physical activity and functional limitations in PWH. A secondary analysis was conducted on data indexing physical activity and functioning of 88 PWH using data originally collected as part of a cross‐sectional study at a single large haemophilia treatment centre. The Framingham Physical Activities Index (PAI), the Hemophilia Activities List (HAL) and the Timed Up‐and‐Go Test (TUG) were the outcome measures. The World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) orthopaedic joint score was used as a measure of arthropathy. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between the outcome measures and covariates. Worsening WFH joint score was independently associated with all three outcome measures (P < 0.05). Increasing age was associated with reduced PAI and increased TUG time (P < 0.05). The HAL summary score was decreased in patients with chronic liver disease (P = 0.006). The adjusted R2 for each model was ≤0.35. This study provides evidence for the relationship between arthropathy and reduced physical functioning/activity, but also highlights that much of the variation in physical functioning/activity is not explained by haemophilia‐related characteristics.
- Outcome of acquired haemophilia in France: the prospective SACHA (Surveillance des Auto antiCorps au cours de l'Hémophilie Acquise) registry
Although extremely rare, acquired haemophilia A (AHA) can cause severe bleeding, which may be fatal. The underlying causes of autoantibody development are not fully understood. Treatment goals are bleeding control and autoantibody eradication. At the time of our study, there was no consensus on a standard treatment strategy for AHA. Previous data were mainly retrospective or from single‐centre cohorts. We conducted a prospective, controlled, registry‐based study of patients with AHA in France. The prospective French registry (Surveillance des Auto antiCorps au cours de l'Hémophilie Acquise [SACHA]) collected data on prevalence, clinical course, disease associations and outcomes for haemostatic treatment and autoantibody eradication in 82 patients with a 1‐year follow‐up. Similar to earlier studies, the prevalence of AHA was higher in the elderly, with two thirds of patients aged >70 years. Around half of AHA cases were associated with underlying disease, most commonly autoimmune disease and cancer in younger and older patients respectively. Haemostatic treatment was initially administered to 46% of patients. Complete resolution or improvement of initial bleeding occurred in 22/27 (81%) rFVIIa‐treated patients and in all six cases receiving pd‐aPCC. The majority of patients (94%) received immunosuppressive therapy, with complete remission at 3 months in 61% (36/59) and in 98% (50/51) at 1 year. Overall mortality was 33%: secondary to bleeding in only three patients but to sepsis in 10. Bypassing agents were effective at controlling bleeding in patients with AHA. Immunosuppressive therapy should be used early but with caution, particularly in elderly patients.
- Is haemophilia B less severe than haemophilia A'
A number of observations suggest that severe factor IX deficiency (<1%) may be less clinically severe than the corresponding factor VIII deficiency: (i) Less factor consumption. There is evidence that patients with haemophilia B (HB) consume yearly less FIX for replacement therapy than patients with haemophilia (HA). Patient registries and data from various sources indicate that regular prophylaxis is implemented less frequently in HB. (ii) Less severe gene mutations. At variance with HA, missense gene mutations are prevalent in severe HB, supporting the view that some FIX may be produced in these patients, albeit not measurable in patient plasma by means of the relatively insensitive available assays. (iii) Less severe clinical symptoms. In the frame of a process meant to develop a score to express the varied clinical severity of both haemophilias in different patients, those with severe HB were less clinically severe, and hence had lower scores, than those with HA. (iv) Less need for orthopaedic surgery. Patients with severe HB needed joint arthroplasty (an indirect index of arthropathy severity) less frequently than those with HA, and this difference was maintained when various confounders were accounted for. In conclusion, these and other data give a hint that HB may be less clinically severe than HA. However, these data are not conclusive, because there are also fewer data in favour of a similar degree of severity of HA and HB.
- Should ice be used in the treatment of acute haemarthrosis in haemophilia'
- Total knee arthroplasty in haemophilic arthropathy with severe flexion deformity and HIV–TB co‐infection: a case report