Background: The boundaries between myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and immune-mediated cytopenias are often difficult to establish and both conditions may benefit from immunosuppressive therapy. The optimal timing and doses of immunosuppressants are largely unknown. Materials and methods: We systematically evaluated a retrospective cohort of 79 patients with low-risk MDS tested for anti-erythrocyte or anti-platelet autoantibodies to assess their frequency and the efficacy of immunosuppression, particularly with steroids. Results: We found autoantibody positivity in 43% of cases and overt autoimmune diseases in 18%, including autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune thromboctyopenia, and Evans syndrome. Steroid treatment improved cytopenia in about half of patients, with 26% achieving a complete recovery lasting for a median of 12 months. Better responses were observed in anemic patients with anti-erythrocyte autoantibodies than in those with anti-platelet autoantibodies, and the combination with recombinant erythropoietin (7/10) had a possible synergistic effect. Steroid doses were heterogeneous depending on the clinical intent (i.e., anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, anabolizing). Patients treated with a dose of 1 mg/kg day of prednisone for overt autoimmune cytopenia showed high rates of complete responses (60%). Discussion: This observation suggests a trial with a short course (2-3 weeks) of standard steroid doses to ascertain efficacy and properly silence the autoimmune pathogenic mechanism. Steroid-related adverse events (16% of cases) should be monitored carefully in this elderly, frail population. In conclusion, features of autoimmunity are present in more than two-thirds of low-risk MDS patients and a trial with prednisone 0.5-1 mg/kg day for 2-3 weeks, with proper monitoring of adverse events, may be useful to improve cytopenias in selected cases.

Use of steroids in the management of low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes with autoimmune features / B. Fattizzo, F. Serpenti, F. Versino, G. Cassanello, L.M. Cro, M. Barbieri, G.A. Croci, N. Revelli, M.G. Della Porta, W. Barcellini. - In: BLOOD TRANSFUSION. - ISSN 2385-2070. - 21:5(2023), pp. 452-460. [10.2450/2022.0184-22]

Use of steroids in the management of low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes with autoimmune features

B. Fattizzo
Primo
;
F. Serpenti
Secondo
;
F. Versino;G. Cassanello;M. Barbieri;G.A. Croci;
2023

Abstract

Background: The boundaries between myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and immune-mediated cytopenias are often difficult to establish and both conditions may benefit from immunosuppressive therapy. The optimal timing and doses of immunosuppressants are largely unknown. Materials and methods: We systematically evaluated a retrospective cohort of 79 patients with low-risk MDS tested for anti-erythrocyte or anti-platelet autoantibodies to assess their frequency and the efficacy of immunosuppression, particularly with steroids. Results: We found autoantibody positivity in 43% of cases and overt autoimmune diseases in 18%, including autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune thromboctyopenia, and Evans syndrome. Steroid treatment improved cytopenia in about half of patients, with 26% achieving a complete recovery lasting for a median of 12 months. Better responses were observed in anemic patients with anti-erythrocyte autoantibodies than in those with anti-platelet autoantibodies, and the combination with recombinant erythropoietin (7/10) had a possible synergistic effect. Steroid doses were heterogeneous depending on the clinical intent (i.e., anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, anabolizing). Patients treated with a dose of 1 mg/kg day of prednisone for overt autoimmune cytopenia showed high rates of complete responses (60%). Discussion: This observation suggests a trial with a short course (2-3 weeks) of standard steroid doses to ascertain efficacy and properly silence the autoimmune pathogenic mechanism. Steroid-related adverse events (16% of cases) should be monitored carefully in this elderly, frail population. In conclusion, features of autoimmunity are present in more than two-thirds of low-risk MDS patients and a trial with prednisone 0.5-1 mg/kg day for 2-3 weeks, with proper monitoring of adverse events, may be useful to improve cytopenias in selected cases.
autoimmune hemolytic anemia; direct antiglobulin test; immune thrombocytopenia; low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes; steroids
Settore MED/15 - Malattie del Sangue
Settore MED/08 - Anatomia Patologica
2023
22-dic-2022
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1028733
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