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Influenza-associated thrombotic microangiopathies

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  • Influenza-associated thrombotic microangiopathies

    Pediatr Nephrol. 2017 Sep 7. doi: 10.1007/s00467-017-3783-4. [Epub ahead of print]
    Influenza-associated thrombotic microangiopathies.

    Bitzan M1, Zieg J2.
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    Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) refers to phenotypically similar disorders, including hemolytic uremic syndromes (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). This review explores the role of the influenza virus as trigger of HUS or TTP. We conducted a literature survey in PubMed and Google Scholar using HUS, TTP, TMA, and influenza as keywords, and extracted and analyzed reported epidemiological and clinical data. We identified 25 cases of influenza-associated TMA. Five additional cases were linked to influenza vaccination and analyzed separately. Influenza A was found in 83%, 10 out of 25 during the 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic. Two patients had bona fide TTP with ADAMTS13 activity <10%. Median age was 15 years (range 0.5-68 years), two thirds were male. Oligoanuria was documented in 81% and neurological involvement in 40% of patients. Serum C3 was reduced in 5 out of 14 patients (36%); Coombs test was negative in 7 out of 7 and elevated fibrin/fibrinogen degradation products were documented in 6 out of 8 patients. Pathogenic complement gene mutations were found in 7 out of 8 patients tested (C3, MCP, or MCP combined with CFB or clusterin). Twenty out of 24 patients recovered completely, but 3 died (12%). Ten of the surviving patients underwent plasma exchange (PLEX) therapy, 5 plasma infusions. Influenza-mediated HUS or TTP is rare. A sizable proportion of tested patients demonstrated mutations associated with alternative pathway of complement dysregulation that was uncovered by this infection. Further research is warranted targeting the roles of viral neuraminidase, enhanced virus-induced complement activation and/or ADAMTS13 antibodies, and rational treatment approaches.


    ADAMTS13; Complement; Hemolytic uremic syndrome; Influenza vaccine; Neuraminidase; Plasma exchange; Thrombotic-thrombocytopenic purpura

    PMID: 28884355 DOI: 10.1007/s00467-017-3783-4