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Klaembt, Verena; Gimpel, Charlotte; Bald, Martin; Gerken, Christopher; Billing, Heiko; Loos, Sebastian; Hansen, Matthias; Koenig, Jens; Vinke, Tobias; Montoya, Carmen; Sperandio, Baerbel Lange; Kirschstein, Martin; Hennies, Imke; Pohl, Martin and Haeffner, Karsten (2021): Different approaches to long-term treatment of aHUS due to MCP mutations: a multicenter analysis. In: Pediatric Nephrology, Vol. 36, No. 2: pp. 463-471

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Background Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is a rare, life-threatening microangiopathy, frequently causing kidney failure. Inhibition of the terminal complement complex with eculizumab is the only licensed treatment but mostly requires long-term administration and risks severe side effects. The underlying genetic cause of aHUS is thought to influence the severity of initial and recurring episodes, with milder courses in patients with mutations in membrane cofactor protein (MCP). Methods Twenty pediatric cases of aHUS due to isolated heterozygous MCP mutations were reported from 12 German pediatric nephrology centers to describe initial presentation, timing of relapses, treatment, and kidney outcome. Results The median age of onset was 4.6 years, with a female to male ratio of 1:3. Without eculizumab maintenance therapy, 50% (9/18) of the patients experienced a first relapse after a median period of 3.8 years. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a relapse-free survival of 93% at 1 year. Four patients received eculizumab long-term treatment, while 3 patients received short courses. We could not show a benefit from complement blockade therapy on long term kidney function, independent of short-term or long-term treatment. To prevent 1 relapse with eculizumab, the theoretical number-needed-to-treat (NNT) was 15 for the first year and 3 for the first 5 years after initial presentation. Conclusion Our study shows that heterozygous MCP mutations cause aHUS with a risk of first relapse of about 10% per year, resulting in large NNTs for prevention of relapses with eculizumab. More studies are needed to define an optimal treatment schedule for patients with MCP mutations to minimize the risks of the disease and treatment.

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