An update for atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome: diagnosis and treatment. A consensus document

Nefrologia. 2015;35(5):421-47. doi: 10.1016/j.nefro.2015.07.005. Epub 2015 Oct 9.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) is a clinical entity defined as the triad of nonimmune haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopenia, and acute renal failure, in which the underlying lesions are mediated by systemic thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Different causes can induce the TMA process that characterizes HUS. In this document we consider atypical HUS (aHUS) a sub-type of HUS in which the TMA phenomena are the consequence of the endotelial damage in the microvasculature of the kidneys and other organs due to a disregulation of the activity of the complement system. In recent years, a variety of aHUs-related mutations have been identified in genes of the the complement system, which can explain approximately 60% of the aHUS cases, and a number of mutations and polymorphisms have been functionally characterized. These findings have stablished that aHUS is a consequence of the insufficient regulation of the activiation of the complement on cell surfaces, leading to endotelial damage mediated by C5 and the complement terminal pathway. Eculizumab is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the activation of C5 and blocks the generation of the pro-inflammatory molecule C5a and the formation of the cell membrane attack complex. In prospective studies in patients with aHUS, the use of Eculizumab has shown a fast and sustained interruption of the TMA process and it has been associated with significative long-term improvements in renal function, the interruption of plasma therapy and important reductions in the need of dialysis. According to the existing literature and the accumulated clinical experience, the Spanish aHUS Group published a consensus document with recommendations for the treatment of aHUs (Nefrologia 2013;33[1]:27-45). In the current online version of this document, we update the aetiological classification of TMAs, the pathophysiology of aHUS, its differential diagnosis and its therapeutic management.

Keywords: Atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome; Complement; Complemento; Eculizumab; Microangiopatía trombótica; Síndrome hemolítico urémico atípico; Thrombotic microangiopathy.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome / genetics
  • Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome / therapy*
  • Complement Activation
  • Complement C5 / immunology
  • Complement System Proteins / genetics
  • Disease Management
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Plasma Exchange
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Serine Endopeptidases / therapeutic use
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathies / classification
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathies / epidemiology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Complement C5
  • complement C5a-inhibitors
  • Complement System Proteins
  • eculizumab
  • Serine Endopeptidases