UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Hemophagocytic syndromes (HPS) including Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in Adults: a Systematic Scoping Review Hayden, Anna; Park, Sujin; Giustini, Dean; Lee, Agnes Y. Y.; Chen, Luke Y. C.


Most knowledge of hemophagocytic syndromes (HPS) including hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is derived from pediatric studies; literature on adult HPS/HLH predominantly consists of small retrospective studies with clinical and methodological heterogeneity. The aims of this systematic scoping review were to provide an overview of existing literature on adult HPS/HLH, describe current practices in diagnosis and treatment, and propose priorities for future research. Articles from Ovid Medline, Embase and Pubmed (1975-2015) describing 10 or more unique adults (age > 15 years) with HPS/HLH were included. 82 publications were eligible: 10 were prospective and 72 were retrospective. Of the six distinct diagnostic criteria, the HLH-2004 criteria were by far the most commonly used. A minority of studies tested for genetic abnormalities (12), soluble interleukin-2 receptor (11), and/or NK function (11) in a subset of patients. Most centers used steroids and either etoposide based (HLH-94/HLH-2004) or doxorubicin based (CHOP) initial therapy regimens. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell therapy for treatment of adult HLH has rarely been reported. Mortality in larger treatment focused studies ranged from 20 to 88%. Developing adult-specific diagnostic criteria based on widely evaluable features of secondary HPS/HLH and establishing standard initial therapies are priorities for future research.

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