VEXAS syndrome: Clinical, hematologic features and a practical approach to diagnosis and management

Am J Hematol. 2024 Feb;99(2):284-299. doi: 10.1002/ajh.27156. Epub 2023 Nov 11.


VEXAS (Vacuoles, E1 enzyme, X-linked, Autoinflammatory, Somatic) syndrome is a newly identified disease caused by somatic alterations in UBA1 which produce a recalcitrant inflammatory state along with hematologic disturbances. Patients with VEXAS can have a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms and providers should be familiar with the heterogeneity of associated clinical features. While hematologic parameters may be generally non-specific, peripheral blood features of macrocytosis, monocytopenia, and/or thrombocytopenia coupled with bone marrow vacuolization of erythroid or myeloid precursors should raise suspicion for this condition. Due to an increased mortality, prompt recognition and accurate diagnosis is paramount. Access to testing for confirmation of UBA1 variants is not yet universally available but clinicians should understand the current available options for genetic confirmation of this disease. Treatment options are limited due to lack of prospective clinical trials but cytokine directed therapies such as interleukin-6 inhibitors and JAK-STAT inhibitors as well as hypomethylating agents such as azacitidine have shown evidence of partial effect. Though cases are limited, allogeneic stem cell transplantation holds promise for durable response and potential cure. The intent of this review is to outline the pathophysiology of VEXAS syndrome and to provide a practical approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Azacitidine
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mutation
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes*
  • Skin Diseases, Genetic*
  • Thrombocytopenia*


  • Azacitidine

Supplementary concepts

  • VEXAS syndrome