Author(s): Magen D, Oliven A, Shechter Y, Elhasid R, BarJoseph G
Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a heterogeneous group of disorders, the pathogenesis of which is unclear. Plasma transfusions and plasmapheresis are widely used modes of therapy for adults with this life-threatening syndrome. There is very limited experience in using plasmapheresis therapy in children and infants with atypical HUS. Plasmapheresis, which is considered a relatively safe procedure in adults and older children, may be hazardous in neonates and very young infants and can result in severe complications. We report a 2-month-old infant with idiopathic atypical HUS, who was successfully treated with a 1-month course of plasmapheresis during the acute phase of the disease. Appropriate preparations as well as several adjustments were made in order to meet the special needs of this very young infant who, to the best of our knowledge, is the youngest reported patient with atypical HUS to undergo plasmapheresis. Plasmapheresis therapy of the infant was not associated with any complications of the procedure and resulted in marked clinical improvement. We conclude that plasmapheresis in neonates and in very small infants is technically feasible, can be performed without major complications, and may be of benefit in individual cases.