Browsing by Subject "eculizumab"

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  • Lokki, A. Inkeri; Haapio, Mikko; Heikkinen-Eloranta, Jenni (2020)
    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disorder affecting ca 3% of all pregnant women. Preeclampsia is the source of severe pregnancy complications. Later life consequences for mother and infant include increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Preeclampsia is caused by the dysfunction of the endothelium with subsequent activation of complement and coagulation systems. HELLP syndrome is considered to be an extreme complication of preeclampsia but it can also present independently. Diagnostic symptoms in HELLP syndrome are Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelets. Similar phenotype is present in thrombotic microangiopathies (TMAs) and HELLP syndrome is considered part of the TMA spectrum. Here, we present a case of severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, which exacerbated rapidly and eventually led to need of intensive care, plasma exchange, and hemodialysis. The patient showed signs of hemolysis, disturbance in the coagulation, and organ damage in liver and kidneys. After comprehensive laboratory testing and supportive care, the symptoms did not subside and treatment with complement C5 inhibitor eculizumab was started. Thereafter, the patient started to recover. The patient had pregnancy-induced aHUS. Earlier initiation of eculizumab treatment may potentially shorten and mitigate the disease and hypothetically decrease future health risks of preeclamptic women.
  • Stefanovic, Vedran (2019)
    Excessive complement activation is involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases and the kidney is an organ with particular susceptibility to complement-mediated injury. Apart from paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), there are several other diseases with clear evidence of complement activation affecting both maternal and fetal kidneys during pregnancy and causing long-term adverse outcomes. Several novel drugs have been recently developed for blocking the complement cascade, including purified plasma proteins, new monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins, small molecules, and small interfering RNA agents. Eculizumab, the humanized monoclonal IgG2/4-antibody targeting C5 was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for treatment of two rare diseases: PNH in 2007 and aHUS in 2011. There is an increasing number of publications of successful use of eculizumab for off-label indications, e.g., in pregnant women with antiphospholipid syndrome, sickle-cell anemia, and HELLP syndrome. These severe diseases are associated with both high maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality rate and substantial prematurity. Eculizumab has considerably improved overall outcome of patients with PNH and aHUS, enabling safe pregnancy for many women. Prolongation of pregnancy and the use of eculizumab, even for only a few weeks, may protect not only maternal renal function, but also alleviate acute and long-term renal consequences of prematurity in offspring.