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, 94 (1), 51-9

Clinical Features, Genetics, and Outcome of Pediatric Patients With Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis in Korea: Report of a Nationwide Survey From Korea Histiocytosis Working Party

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Clinical Features, Genetics, and Outcome of Pediatric Patients With Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis in Korea: Report of a Nationwide Survey From Korea Histiocytosis Working Party

Kyung-Nam Koh et al. Eur J Haematol.

Abstract

Background: We analyzed a nationwide registry of pediatric patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in Korea to assess the clinical and genetic features and treatment outcomes in pediatric HLH.

Methods: The Korea Histiocytosis Working Party retrospectively analyzed data on 251 pediatric patients diagnosed with HLH between 1996 and 2011.

Results: In the study cohort, 25 cases were categorized with familial HLH, 64 with presumed secondary HLH, and 162 with unspecified HLH. Of 217 evaluable patients, 91 (42%) had concomitant Epstein-Barr virus infection. Of 238 evaluable patients, central nervous system (CNS) involvement, which was more frequent in the familial group, was evident in 81 cases (34%). Genetic tests revealed a predominant UNC13D mutation with a high incidence of two recurrent splicing mutations (c.118-308C>T and c.754-1G>C). The 5-yr overall survival rate was 68% (38% in the familial group and 81% in the presumed secondary group). The 5-yr overall survival rate among 32 patients who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was 64%. In multivariate analysis, a younger age at diagnosis, severe transaminasemia, and a coagulation abnormality were independent prognostic factors for survival. Responses during initial treatments were also significant indicators of outcome.

Conclusion: Our study showed the unique predominance of a UNC13D mutation and vulnerability to Epstein-Barr virus infection in Korean children with HLH and emphasizes the prognostic significance of age, liver dysfunction, and treatment responses in this disease. A multicenter prospective trial that builds on the present results is warranted to identify subgroups of patients with a poor prognosis and identify optimal treatments.

Keywords: allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; genetic mutation; hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; prognostic factors; survival.

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