We recently observed that dysregulation of the complement system may be involved in the pathogenesis of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (HSCT-TMA). These findings suggest that the complement inhibitor eculizumab could be a therapeutic option for this severe HSCT complication with high mortality. However, the efficacy of eculizumab in children with HSCT-TMA and its dosing requirements are not known. We treated 6 children with severe HSCT-TMA using eculizumab and adjusted the dose to achieve a therapeutic level >99 μg/mL. HSCT-TMA resolved over time in 4 of 6 children after achieving therapeutic eculizumab levels and complete complement blockade, as measured by low total hemolytic complement activity (CH50). To achieve therapeutic drug levels and a clinical response, children with HSCT-TMA required higher doses or more frequent eculizumab infusions than currently recommended for children with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. Two critically ill patients failed to reach therapeutic eculizumab levels, even after dose escalation, and subsequently died. Our data indicate that eculizumab may be a therapeutic option for HSCT-TMA, but HSCT patients appear to require higher medication dosing than recommended for other conditions. We also observed that a CH50 level ≤ 4 complement activity enzyme units correlated with therapeutic eculizumab levels and clinical response, and therefore CH50 may be useful to guide eculizumab dosing in HSCT patients as drug level monitoring is not readily available.
Keywords: CH50; Eculizumab; Eculizumab pharmacokinetics; Hematopoietic stem cell transplant; Thrombotic microangiopathy.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.