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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 30

of 'Drug-induced thrombotic microangiopathy'

Cancer-associated hemolytic-uremic syndrome: analysis of 85 cases from a national registry.
Lesesne JB, Rothschild N, Erickson B, Korec S, Sisk R, Keller J, Arbus M, Woolley PV, Chiazze L, Schein PS
J Clin Oncol. 1989;7(6):781.
A registry of suspected cases of cancer-associated hemolytic-uremic syndrome (C-HUS) was established in May 1984. Records of 85 patients from the registry, all with history of cancer, hematocrit less than or equal to 25%, platelet count less than 100,000, and serum creatinine greater than or equal to 1.6 mg/dL were subjected to in-depth analysis. Eighty-nine percent of patients had adenocarcinoma, including 26% with gastric cancer. Microangiopathic hemolysis was reported in 83 patients; coagulation studies were normal with rare exception. Bone marrow examination ruled out chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression in 68 of 85. Thirty-five percent of patients were without evident cancer at time of syndrome development. Mitomycin (MMC) was part of the treatment regimen in 84 patients; all but nine received a cumulative dose greater than 60 mg. Pulmonary edema, generally noncardiogenic, developed in 65% of patients, often after blood product transfusions. C-HUS has a high mortality: over 50% of patients died of or with syndrome, most within 8 weeks of syndrome development. Conventional treatment was ineffective, although ten of 21 treated with staphylococcal protein A (SPA) immunopheresis showed significant responses. Statistical analysis found only absence of obvious tumor and treatment with SPA to suggest favorable prognosis. C-HUS is distinguishable from related syndromes such as childhood HUS, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), consumption coagulopathy, and microangiopathic hemolysis associated with advanced carcinoma. MMC is likely involved in the development of C-HUS; the risk of developing C-HUS after treatment with MMC is between 4% and 15%. However, possible bias in patients referred to the registry and reports of non-MMC C-HUS cases must be remembered. Recommendations include careful monitoring of renal and hematologic function in patients treated with MMC, aggressive nontransfusion in patients with suspected C-HUS, and consideration of treatment with SPA immunopheresis in patients with definite syndrome.
Department of Medicine, Vincent T. Lombardi Cancer Research Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.