Cytokines in childhood hemolytic uremic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Pediatr Nephrol. 1995 Dec;9(6):694-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00868714.


Serum and urine cytokines were analyzed in children with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Interleukin-6 (IL-6) was elevated in the serum of 33 of 35 children with HUS (94%) and in 2 of 2 children with recurrent TTP. Serum IL-6 was higher in children with HUS who developed anuria, extrarenal manifestations during the acute phase of illness and/or chronic renal sequelae. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was detected in the serum of 7 patients with HUS (20%) and 1 patient with TTP. IL-6 and TNF-alpha were elevated in the urine of 4 of 4 children with HUS and 2 of 2 children with TTP. Urinary levels were higher than serum levels, suggesting local production of cytokines in the urinary tract. Sequential serum and urine samples showed that IL-6 levels varied with disease activity. IL-6 and TNF-alpha were not detected in the serum (n = 25) and urine (n = 15) of healthy children. We conclude that IL-6 in urine may be used to monitor disease activity in HUS and TTP.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Cytokines / urine
  • Female
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / immunology*
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / urine
  • Male
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / immunology*
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / therapy
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Serum Globulins / urine
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Serum Globulins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha