Clinical analysis of macrophage activation syndrome in pediatric patients with autoimmune diseases

Clinical Rheumatology, 05/31/2012

Lin CI et al. – The results showed that Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) could be fatal and complicate various pediatric autoimmune diseases. It generally has a good response to corticosteroids and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Prompt recognition and timely treatment can result in good outcomes.

Methods

  • The authors retrospectively reviewed the hospital’s medical records of 102 HLH/MAS patients from the past 20 years.
  • Demographics, clinical data, treatment, and outcomes were analyzed.
  • Among 102 patients, eight patients with underlying juvenile systemic lupus erythematous (two patients), mixed connective tissue disease (one patient), primary anti–phospholipid syndrome (one patient), and systemic type juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (sJRA; four patients) with 13 episodes of MAS were studied.

Results

  • Clinical manifestations of MAS included fever (100 %), hepatosplenomegaly (77 %), lymphadenopathy (38 %), skin rash (62 %), and neurological involvement (31 %).
  • Laboratory features included leukopenia (54 %), anemia (46 %), thrombocytopenia (77 %), jaundice (27 %), hypofibrinogenemia (40 %), decreased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (67 %), and elevated liver enzymes (77 %), lactate dehydrogenase (100 %), ferritin (88 %), triglycerides (91 %), C–reactive protein (85 %), plasma D–dimer (50 %), and hemophagocytosis in bone marrow (83 %).
  • The Epstein–Barr virus and adenovirus infection triggered MAS in two patients with sJRA.
  • Methylprednisolone pulse therapy was effective in two out of three patients, and high–dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) was effective in two out of six patients.
  • Patients with sJRA responded well to corticosteroids and cyclosporine.
  • Complications included opportunistic infection with Pneumocystis jiroveci, multiple organ failure, and intensive care unit myopathy.
  • The mortality rate was one out of eight (12.5 %).

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