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Efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil in adult refractory auto-immune cytopenias: a single center preliminary study

Authors


Rami Kotb MD and Cécile Goujard MD, Department of Internal Medicine, CHU du Kremlin Bicêtre, 78 rue du Général Leclerc, 94275 Le Kremlin Bicêtre, France
Tel: +00 33 145212533
Fax: +00 33 145212632
e-mail: rkotb@yahoo.com; cecile.goujard@bct.ap-hop-paris.fr

Abstract

Abstract:  Treatment of auto-immune cytopenia refractory to front line therapy with intravenous immunoglobulins and steroids is a matter of concern. We assessed the efficacy and safety of mycophenolate mofetil in a prospective open preliminary study. Study design: Adult patients with steroid refractory auto-immune cytopenias were included. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) was added to treatment given at the time of inclusion, and efficacy was evaluated in term of improvement of platelet/haemoglobin levels and in term of reduction of previously given drugs, if any. All auto-immune thrombocytopenic purpura (AITP) patients had serologic assessment for associated auto-antibodies at the time of inclusion. Cytopenias associated with other auto-immune diseases, lymphoproliferative diseases or HIV infection were excluded. Results: From November 1999 through November 2003, 13 patients were included (nine AITP, three auto-immune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA), one Evans’ syndrome; four males, nine females; age: 35–72 yr). For AITP patients, an overall response of 78% was observed. Retrospective analysis showed no significant difference between patients having a short disease duration (<1 yr) and longer disease duration; between patients who previously received more or less than three treatments; and between patients for whom MMF was started as monotherapy or in association with prednisone, However, all AITP patients presenting associated auto-antibodies responded to MMF, while only 50% of patients without associated antibodies were responders. All patients presenting AIHA and Evans’ syndrome were responders. The drug was well tolerated, with no significant side effects reported. The cumulative data suggest a potential place for MMF in the treatment arsenal of refractory cytopenias.

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