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Thrombosis in Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria at a Glance: A Clinical Review

[ Vol. 6 , Issue. 4 ]


Panayiotis D. Ziakas, Loukia S. Poulou and Anastasia Pomoni   Pages 347 - 353 ( 7 )


Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare, acquired stem cell disorder, with its primary clinical manifestations being hemolytic anemia, marrow failure and thrombophilia. Chronic hemolysis, failures of the fibrinolytic system, increased leukocyte – derived tissue factor levels in plasma, procoagulant microparticles generated through complement-mediated damage of platelets and venous endothelium are related to the acquired hypercoagulable state. Visceral thrombosis (including hepatic veins and mesenteric veins), cerebrovascular events and pulmonary embolism predict a poor outcome. Thrombosis is also associated with significant morbidity during pregnancy. Depending on the sites of thrombosis, a score-based probability to predict outcome can be assigned. Abdominal vein thromboses account for the majority of morbidity and mortality related to thrombosis, and time-dependent trends suggest that mortality rates tend to decline, with the advent of evolution of therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. In contrast, mortality rates from cerebrovascular events display no significant decline. Prompt diagnosis requires both clinical suspicion and sophisticated imaging techniques, along with multidisciplinary therapeutic intervention. In the eculizumab era, a significant reduction of thrombotic events was observed during therapy, and long-term follow up is needed to establish any benefit in rates and pattern of this complication. However, up to now, only bone marrow transplantation permanently abolishes the coagulation defect.


Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, thrombosis, eculizumab, diagnosis, management


“Hygeia” Diagnostic&Therapeutic Centre, BMT Unit, 4 Erythrou Stavrou St., 151 23 Athens, Greece.

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