Introduction: VEXAS (vacuoles, E1 enzyme, X-linked, autoinflammatory, somatic) syndrome is a recently described, late-onset, acquired autoinflammatory disorder caused by mutations in the UBA1 gene. The various clinical manifestations of VEXAS broadly divided into inflammatory or haematological. VEXAS defines a new disease category - the hematoinflammatory disorders triggered by somatic mutations restricted to blood but causing systemic inflammation with multi-organ involvement and associated with aberrant bone marrow status. VEXAS causes significant morbidity and reduced life expectancy, but the optimum standard of care remains undefined.
Areas covered: This review describes the discovery of VEXAS, relevant genetic causes and immunopathology of the disease. A detailed account of its various clinical manifestations and disease mimics is provided. Current treatment and management options are discussed.
Expert opinion: New rare variants in UBA1 and VEXAS-like UBA1 negative cases are reported. Consensus diagnostic criteria might be required to define VEXAS and its related disorders. Investigation of sporadic, VEXAS-like cases will require the application of deep sequencing using DNA obtained from various cellular or tissue locations. Prospective studies are needed to define the optimal supportive and treatment options for patients with varying disease severity and prognosis. VEXAS-specific hematopoietic stem cell transplant selection criteria also require development.
Keywords: Anti-IL1; E1 ubiquitin ligase; JAK inhibitor; UBA1; VEXAS; anti-IL6; corticosteroids; hematoinflammatory diseases; hematopoietic stem cell transplant; macrocytic anaemia; myelodysplastic syndrome; relapsing polychondritis; sweets syndrome; venous thromboembolism.