Objective: To describe the presentation, management, and outcome of 43 cases of pneumococcal-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome (P-HUS). An increased incidence of P-HUS has been noted in the United Kingdom between January 1998 and May 2005.
Study design: Cases with microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (Hb <10 g/dL with fragmented RBCs), thrombocytopenia (platelet count < 130 x 10(9)/L), acute renal impairment with oliguria and elevated plasma creatinine for age, confirmed or suspected pneumococcal infection and/or T-activation were included.
Results: The median age at presentation was 13 months (range, 5-39 months). Pneumococcus was identified in 34 of 43 cases; T-activation was identified in 36 of 37 cases. Twelve strains were serotyped: serotypes 3 (n = 2), 6A (n = 2), 12F (n = 1), 14 (n = 1), 19A (n = 6). Empyema was present in 23 of 35 pneumonia cases; 13 cases had confirmed (9) or suspected (4) pneumococcal meningitis; 36 cases required dialysis (median, 10 days; range, 2-240 days). The mortality rate was 11%, comprising 3 cases of meningitis, 1 case of sepsis and 1 case of pulmonary embolism at 8 months follow up while on dialysis. Follow-up data were available for 35 of 38 patients who survived (median follow-up period, 9 months; range, 1-63 months); of these, 10 patients had renal dysfunction, 1 patient was dialysis-dependent, 5 patients had hypertension and 8 patients had at least 1+ proteinuria on urinalysis.
Conclusion: P-HUS has increased compared with historic surveys (0/288 in 1985-1988; 8/413 in 1997-2001, 43/315 in 1998-May 2005). Early mortality remains high (8-fold that of VTEC-induced HUS). Ten of 12 strains identified would not be covered by the PCV7 vaccine.