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Recognition and management of platelet-refractory bleeding in patients with Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia and other severe platelet function disorders

Authors Chitlur M, Rajpurkar M, Recht M, Tarantino MD, Yee DL, Cooper DL, Gunawardena S

Received 29 November 2016

Accepted for publication 20 February 2017

Published 3 April 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 95—99

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S128953

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Meera Chitlur,1 Madhvi Rajpurkar,1 Michael Recht,2 Michael D Tarantino,3 Donald L Yee,4 David L Cooper,5 Sriya Gunawardena5

1Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University and Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI, USA; 2Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA; 3Bleeding and Clotting Disorders Institute, Peoria, IL, USA; 4Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA; 5Clinical Development, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Novo Nordisk Inc., Plainsboro, NJ, USA

Abstract: Patients with rare qualitative platelet disorders or platelet function disorders (PFDs) may present to the hospital physician with severe bleeding episodes or excessive surgical bleeding. Although standard treatment consists of platelet transfusions, repeated transfusions may result in the development of antiplatelet antibodies (APA) or clinical refractoriness, rendering further platelet therapy ineffective. In such settings, an approved treatment option for patients with Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia (GT), one of the well-known rare PFDs, is recombinant activated coagulation factor VII (rFVIIa). Data regarding the efficacy of rFVIIa in patients with GT and platelet refractoriness are available from a large patient registry, an international survey, and multiple case reports and demonstrate efficacy in patients with and without refractoriness or APA. This article reviews the rFVIIa clinical data in patients with GT and platelet refractoriness and discusses clinical implications relevant to the hospital-based physician. Because uncontrolled bleeding can be life-threatening, hospital physicians should be alert to the signs of platelet refractoriness, be able to recognize continued internal or external bleeding, and know how to adapt treatment regimens for the effective management of bleeding. The management of patients who receive rFVIIa should occur in consultation with a hematologist with experience in PFDs, and patients with suspected platelet refractoriness should be referred to such a hematologist as early as possible. A critical unmet need is the development of a definition of an adequate response to platelet transfusion, which would facilitate early recognition of platelet refractoriness in patients with PFDs who exhibit a normal platelet count.

Keywords: platelet function disorder, Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia, alloantibodies, antiplatelet antibodies, platelet refractoriness, bleeding management

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