Terminal Complement Inhibitor Eculizumab in Adult Patients With Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome: A Single-Arm, Open-Label Trial

Am J Kidney Dis. 2016 Jul;68(1):84-93. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2015.12.034. Epub 2016 Mar 21.


Background: Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is a rare genetic life-threatening disease of chronic uncontrolled complement activation leading to thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) and severe end-organ damage. Eculizumab, a terminal complement inhibitor approved for aHUS treatment, was reported to improve hematologic and renal parameters in 2 prior prospective phase 2 studies. This is the largest prospective study of eculizumab in aHUS to date, conducted in an adult population.

Study design: Open-label single-arm phase 2 trial.

Setting & participants: Patients 18 years or older with aHUS (platelet count <150 × 10(3)/μL, hemoglobin ≤ lower limit of normal, lactate dehydrogenase ≥1.5 × upper limit of normal [ULN], and serum creatinine ≥ ULN) were included in this multicenter multinational study.

Intervention: Intravenous eculizumab (900mg/wk for 4 weeks, 1,200mg at week 5 and then every 2 weeks) for 26 weeks.

Outcomes & measurements: Primary end point was complete TMA response within 26 weeks, defined as hematologic normalization (platelet count ≥150 × 10(3)/μL, LDH ≤ ULN), and preservation of kidney function (<25% serum creatinine increase from baseline), confirmed by 2 or more consecutive measurements obtained 4 or more weeks apart.

Results: 41 patients were treated; 38 (93%) completed 26 weeks of treatment. 30 (73%) were included during their first TMA manifestation. 30 (73%) had complete TMA response. Platelet counts and estimated glomerular filtration rates increased from baseline (P<0.001). All 35 patients on baseline plasma exchange/plasma infusion discontinued by week 26. Of 24 patients requiring baseline dialysis, 5 recovered kidney function before eculizumab initiation and 15 of the remaining 19 (79%) discontinued dialysis during eculizumab treatment. No patients lost existing transplants. Quality-of-life measures were significantly improved. Two patients developed meningococcal infections; both recovered, and 1 remained on eculizumab treatment.

Limitations: Single-arm open-label design.

Conclusions: Results highlight the benefits of eculizumab in adult patients with aHUS: improvement in hematologic, renal, and quality-of-life parameters; dialysis discontinuation; and transplant protection.

Keywords: Eculizumab; Soliris; TMA response; adults; atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS); clinical trial; hematologic normalization; hemoglobin; kidney disease; lactate dehydrogenase (LDH); platelet count; renal function; terminal complement inhibitor; thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Remission Induction
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • eculizumab