A systematic review of adherence to iron chelation therapy among children and adolescents with thalassemia
Annals of medicine. 2022;54(1):326-342
INTRODUCTION Iron chelation therapy (ICT) is essential to prevent complications of iron overload in patients with transfusion-dependent thalassaemia. However, there is currently no standard for how to best measure adherence to ICT, nor what level of adherence necessitates concern for poor outcomes, especially in paediatric patients. The objectives of this review are to identify rates of adherence to ICT, predictors of adherence, methods of measurement, and adherence-related health outcomes in children and adolescents. METHODS This review covers the literature published between 1980 and 2020 on ICT in thalassaemia that assessed adherence or compliance. Included studies reflect original research. The preferred reporting items of systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed for reporting results, and the findings were critically appraised with the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine criteria. RESULTS Of the 543 articles, 37 met the inclusion criteria. The most common methods of assessing adherence included patient self-report (n = 15/36, 41.7%), and pill count (n = 15/36, 41.7%), followed by subcutaneous medication monitoring (5/36, 13.8%) and prescription refills (n = 4/36, 11.1%). Study sizes ranged from 7 to 1115 participants. Studies reported adherence either in "categories" with different levels of adherence (n = 29) or "quantitatively" as a percentage of medication taken out of those prescribed (n = 7). Quantitatively, the percentage of adherence varied from 57% to 98.4% with a median of 89.5%. Five studies focussed on interventions, four of which were designed to improve adherence. Studies varied in sample size and methods of assessment, which prohibited performing a meta-analysis. CONCLUSIONS Due to a lack of clinical consensus on how adherence is defined, it is difficult to compare adherence to ICT in different studies. Future studies should be aimed at creating guidelines for assessing adherence and identifying suboptimal adherence. These future efforts will be crucial in informing evidence-based interventions to improve adherence and health outcomes in thalassaemia patients.Key messagesPredictive factors associated with ICT adherence in the paediatric population include age, social perception of ICT, social support, and side effects/discomfort.Increased adherence in the paediatric population is associated with decreased serum ferritin and improved cardiac, hepatic, and endocrine outcomes.Inadequate adherence to ICT is associated with increased lifetime health costs.There are few studies that focussed on interventions to increase adherence in the paediatric population, and the studies that do exist all focussed on different types of interventions; successful interventions focussed on consistent, long-term engagement with patients.
Indirect Treatment Comparison of Damoctocog Alfa Pegol versus Turoctocog Alfa Pegol as Prophylactic Treatment in Patients with Hemophilia A
Journal of blood medicine. 2021;12:935-943
PURPOSE To assess the efficacy and FVIII consumption of BAY 94-9027 versus N8-GP in prophylaxis in adolescent and adult patients with severe hemophilia A (HA). PATIENTS AND METHODS A systematic literature review was conducted to identify studies on the efficacy of BAY-94-9027 and N8-GP for prophylaxis in patients with HA aged ≥12 years without a history of inhibitors. Eight studies met systematic literature review inclusion criteria, but only data from PROTECT VIII on BAY 94-9027 and PATHFINDER 2 on N8-GP could be used for an indirect comparison. Matching-adjusted indirect comparison (MAIC) and simulated treatment comparison were performed. RESULTS No significant differences (unadjusted and adjusted) were observed in the mean annualized bleeding rate (ABR) for any bleed and proportion of patients with zero bleeds when comparing BAY 94-9027 to N8-GP. The adjusted treatment difference [incidence rate ratio (IRR)] in terms of ABR was 1.11 (95% CI, 0.85-1.44). The odds ratio (OR) of any bleed, measuring the relative effect of BAY 94-9027 versus N8-GP on the proportion of patients with zero bleeds, was 1.03 (95% CI, 0.60-1.77). FVIII consumption was significantly lower in BAY 94-9027 [mean adjusted difference=-1292.57 IU/kg/year (95% CI, ‒2152.44 to ‒432.70)]; a 26.7% reduction in consumption of BAY-94-9027. The results of the sensitivity analyses were similar to the main analysis for mean ABRs, percentages of patients with zero bleeds, and significant reduction in rFVIII consumption. For patients on BAY 94-9027 every-5-days and every-7-days, no differences versus every-4-days N8-GP were observed for the mean ABR for any bleed [IRR=0.90 (95% CI, 0.68‒1.20)] and proportion of patients with zero bleeds [OR=1.06 (95% CI, 0.56‒2.02)]. CONCLUSION BAY 94-9027 prophylaxis demonstrated 26.7% lower annual consumption when compared to N8-GP with similar efficacy in terms of ABR and percentage of patients with zero bleeds.
Biological stratification of clinical disease courses in childhood immune thrombocytopenia
Journal of thrombosis and haemostasis : JTH. 2021
BACKGROUND In childhood immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), an autoimmune bleeding disorder, there is a need for better prediction of individual disease courses and treatment outcomes. OBJECTIVE To predict the response to intravenous Immunoglobulins (IVIg) and ITP disease course using genetic and immune markers. METHODS Children aged below seven years with newly diagnosed ITP (N = 147) from the TIKI study were included, which randomized children to an IVIg or observation group. A total of 46 variables were available: clinical characteristics, targeted genotyping, lymphocyte immune phenotyping, and platelet autoantibodies. RESULTS In the treatment arm, 48/80 children (60%) showed a complete response (platelets ≥100 x 10(9) /L) that lasted for at least one month (complete sustained response; CSR) and 32 exhibited no or a temporary response (absence of a sustained response; ASR). For a biological risk score, five variables were selected by regularized logistic regression that predicted ASR vs CSR: 1) hemoglobin; 2) platelet count; 3) genetic polymorphisms of FcγRIIc; 4) the presence of IgG anti-platelet antibodies; and 5) preceding vaccination. The ASR sensitivity was 0.91 (95% CI, 0.80 - 1.00) and specificity was 0.67 (95% CI, 0.53 - 0.80). In the 67 patients of the observation arm, this biological score was also associated with recovery during one-year follow-up. The addition of the biological score to a predefined clinical score further improved the discrimination of favorable ITP disease courses. CONCLUSIONS The prediction of disease courses and IVIg treatment responses in ITP is improved by using both clinical and biological stratification.
Evidence-based interventions implemented in low-and middle-income countries for sickle cell disease management: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials
PloS one. 2021;16(2):e0246700
BACKGROUND Despite ~90% of sickle cell disease (SCD) occurring in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), the vast majority of people are not receiving evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to reduce SCD-related adverse outcomes and mortality, and data on implementation research outcomes (IROs) and SCD is limited. This study aims to synthesize available data on EBIs for SCD and assess IROs. METHODS We conducted a systematic review of RCTs reporting on EBIs for SCD management implemented in LMICs. We identified articles from PubMed/Medline, Global Health, PubMed Central, Embase, Web of Science medical subject heading (MeSH and Emtree) and keywords, published from inception through February 23, 2020, and conducted an updated search through December 24, 2020. We provide intervention characteristics for each study, EBI impact on SCD, and evidence of reporting on IROs. MAIN RESULTS 29 RCTs were analyzed. EBIs identified included disease modifying agents, supportive care agents/analgesics, anti-malarials, systemic treatments, patient/ provider education, and nutritional supplements. Studies using disease modifying agents, nutritional supplements, and anti-malarials reported improvements in pain crisis, hospitalization, children's growth and reduction in severity and prevalence of malaria. Two studies reported on the sustainability of supplementary arginine, citrulline, and daily chloroquine and hydroxyurea for SCD patients. Only 13 studies (44.8%) provided descriptions that captured at least three of the eight IROs. There was limited reporting of acceptability, feasibility, fidelity, cost and sustainability. CONCLUSION EBIs are effective for SCD management in LMICs; however, measurement of IROs is scarce. Future research should focus on penetration of EBIs to inform evidence-based practice and sustainability in the context of LMICs. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION This review is registered in PROSPERO #CRD42020167289.
Children and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) in 14 low- and middle-income countries, (30 studies).
Evidence-based interventions including: disease modifying agents, supportive care agents/analgesics, anti-malarials, systemic treatments (e.g., red blood cell transfusions), patient/provider education, and nutritional supplements.
Placebo or comparator intervention
Studies using disease modifying agents, nutritional supplements, and anti-malarials reported improvements in pain crisis, hospitalization, children's growth and reduction in severity and prevalence of malaria. Two studies reported on the sustainability of supplementary arginine, citrulline, and daily chloroquine and hydroxyurea for SCD patients. Only 13 studies (44.8%) provided descriptions that captured at least three of the eight implementation research outcomes. There was limited reporting of acceptability, feasibility, fidelity, cost and sustainability.
Neonatal Uterine Bleedings: An Ignored Sign but a Possible Cause of Early-Onset Endometriosis - A Systematic Review
Biomedicine hub. 2021;6(1):6-16
OBJECTIVE Based on the hypothesis that neonatal uterine bleedings (NUB), occurring mostly in the first week after birth, could represent a pathogenetic mechanism for early-onset endometriosis, this systematic review (SR) was undertaken to evaluate the prevalence and screening strategies used to assess and quantify NUB. DESIGN Both a SR and a sample literature search in PubMed and Embase were conducted to gather information on NUB prevalence and screening techniques. This was performed by an information specialist. Only full-text articles regarding the assessment of NUB in neonates in the first 2 weeks after birth were included. No limit on language or publication data was used. MATERIALS AND METHODS The SR was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42019138121). Data was first assessed for eligibility on title and abstract by 2 blinded review authors. Any disagreements were discussed with a third reviewer if necessary. Subsequently, full-text articles were read and assessed for quality using the Cochrane Collaboration Handbook. RESULTS Out of 1,988 articles in the systematic search, 10 relevant articles were selected, of which 8 were identified through the systematic search and 2 were found through other sources. The sample search of 4,445 articles did not bring up relevant articles. Results were not comparable due to the heterogeneity of screening techniques, although data showed consensus. The prevalence of visible bleeding ranged from 3.3 to 53.8% and the prevalence of occult bleeding from 25.4 to 96.7%. The occurrence was the highest between the 3rd and 7th day postpartum (PP) and the bleeding lasted for 3-4 days on average. Various screening techniques for detecting NUB were found in the literature, including the use of hemoglobin detection devices (such as Hemastix) in the vaginal vestibulum, comparison of diapers with stains of known volume, colposcopy, and ultrasonography. CONCLUSION The reported prevalence of NUB varies considerably, with a consistent occurrence between the 3rd and the 7th day PP. Literature to assess NUB is dated. The techniques are poorly described and heterogeneous. Future research should focus on prospective cohort studies in order to attempt to correlate NUB cases to (early-onset) endometriosis.
Blood transfusions for treating acute chest syndrome in people with sickle cell disease
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2020;1:Cd007843
BACKGROUND Sickle cell disease is an inherited autosomal recessive blood condition and is one of the most prevalent genetic blood diseases worldwide. Acute chest syndrome is a frequent complication of sickle cell disease, as well as a major cause of morbidity and the greatest single cause of mortality in children with sickle cell disease. Standard treatment may include intravenous hydration, oxygen as treatment for hypoxia, antibiotics to treat the infectious cause and blood transfusions may be given. This is an update of a Cochrane Review first published in 2010 and updated in 2016. OBJECTIVES To assess the effectiveness of blood transfusions, simple and exchange, for treating acute chest syndrome by comparing improvement in symptoms and clinical outcomes against standard care. SEARCH METHODS We searched The Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, which comprises references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and handsearching of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings. Date of the most recent search: 30 May 2019. SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised controlled trials and quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing either simple or exchange transfusion versus standard care (no transfusion) in people with sickle cell disease suffering from acute chest syndrome. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Both authors independently selected trials and assessed the risk of bias, no data could be extracted. MAIN RESULTS One trial was eligible for inclusion in the review. While in the multicentre trial 237 people were enrolled (169 SCC, 42 SC, 15 Sbeta(0)-thalassaemia, 11Sbeta(+)-thalassaemia); the majority were recruited to an observational arm and only ten participants met the inclusion criteria for randomisation. Of these, four were randomised to the transfusion arm and received a single transfusion of 7 to 13 mL/kg packed red blood cells, and six were randomised to standard care. None of the four participants who received packed red blood cells developed acute chest syndrome, while 33% (two participants) developed acute chest syndrome in standard care arm. No data for any pre-defined outcomes were available. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS We found only one very small randomised controlled trial; this is not enough to make any reliable conclusion to support the use of blood transfusion. Whilst there appears to be some indication that chronic blood transfusion may play a roll in reducing the incidence of acute chest syndrome in people with sickle cell disease and albeit offering transfusions may be a widely accepted clinical practice, there is currently no reliable evidence to support or refute the perceived benefits of these as treatment options; very limited information about any of the potential harms associated with these interventions or indeed guidance that can be used to aid clinical decision making. Clinicians should therefore base any treatment decisions on a combination of; their clinical experience, individual circumstances and the unique characteristics and preferences of adequately informed people with sickle cell disease who are suffering with acute chest syndrome. This review highlights the need of further high quality research to provide reliable evidence for the effectiveness of these interventions for the relief of the symptoms of acute chest syndrome in people with sickle cell disease.
Early versus late erythropoietin for preventing red blood cell transfusion in preterm and/or low birth weight infants
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2020;2:Cd004865
BACKGROUND Low plasma levels of erythropoietin (EPO) in preterm infants provide a rationale for the use of EPO to prevent or treat anaemia. OBJECTIVES To assess the effectiveness and safety of early versus late initiation of EPO in reducing red blood cell (RBC) transfusions in preterm and/or low birth weight (LBW) infants. SEARCH METHODS The standard search of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group (CNRG) was performed in 2006 and updated in 2009. Updated search in September 2009 as follows: The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (search via PubMed), CINAHL and EMBASE were searched from 2005 to September 2009. The searches were repeated in March 2012. The Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual meetings were searched electronically from 2000 to 2012 at Abstracts2View(TM) as were clinical trials registries (clinicaltrials.gov; controlled-trials.com; and who.int/ictrp). SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials enrolling preterm or LBW infants less than eight days of age. INTERVENTION Early initiation of EPO (initiated at less than eight days of age) versus late initiation of EPO (initiated at eight to 28 days of age). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS The standard methods of the CNRG were followed. Weighted treatment effects included typical risk ratio (RR), typical risk difference (RD), number needed to treat to benefit (NNTB), number needed to treat to harm (NNTH) and mean difference (MD), all with 95% confidence intervals (CI). A fixed-effect model was used for meta-analyses and heterogeneity was evaluated using the I-squared (I(2)) test. MAIN RESULTS No new trials were identified in March of 2012. Two high quality randomised double-blind controlled studies enrolling 262 infants were identified. A non-significant reduction in the 'Use of one or more RBC transfusions' [two studies 262 infants; typical RR 0.91 (95% CI 0.78 to 1.06); typical RD -0.07 (95% CI -0.18 to 0.04; I(2) = 0% for both RR and RD] favouring early EPO was noted. Early EPO administration resulted in a non-significant reduction in the "number of transfusions per infant" compared with late EPO [typical MD - 0.32 (95% CI -0.92 to 0.29)]. There was no significant reduction in total volume of blood transfused per infant or in the number of donors to whom the infant was exposed. Early EPO led to a significant increase in the risk of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (all stages) [two studies, 191 infants; typical RR 1.40 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.86); typical RD 0.16 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.29); NNTH 6 (95% CI 3 to 33)]. There was high heterogeneity for this outcome (I(2) = 86% for RR and 81% for RD). Both studies (191 infants) reported on ROP stage > 3. No statistically significant increase in risk was noted [typical RR 1.56 (95% CI 0.71 to 3.41); typical RD 0.05 (-0.04 to 0.14)] There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (0% for both RR and RD). No other important favourable or adverse neonatal outcomes or side effects were reported. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS The use of early EPO did not significantly reduce the 'Use of one or more RBC transfusions' or the 'Number of transfusions per infant" compared with late EPO administration. The finding of a statistically significant increased risk of ROP (any grade) and a similar trend for ROP stage > 3 with early EPO treatment is of great concern.
Novel Dose Escalation to Predict Treatment with Hydroxyurea (NDEPTH): A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Dose-Prediction Equation to Determine Maximum Tolerated Dose of Hydroxyurea in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease
Am J Hematol. 2020
Clinical Usefulness of Furosemide to Prevent Volume Overload Among Children and Young Adults with Transfusion-Dependent Thalassemia: A Randomized, Open-Label, Crossover Study
Journal of blood medicine. 2020;11:503-513
PURPOSE Red blood cell transfusion is a key element of treatment among patients with transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT). Volume overload and HCC syndrome (hypertension, convulsion, and intracranial hemorrhage) are fatal complications related to transfusion. Furosemide has been widely used to prevent hypertension secondary to volume overload with unclear supportive evidence. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of furosemide to prevent volume overload among children and young adults diagnosed with TDT. METHODS Patients diagnosed with TDT were enrolled and randomized to receive either furosemide pretransfusion or no furosemide pretransfusion. After 3 weeks to 4 months of wash-out periods, those patients underwent the alternate regimens as per crossover design of the study. Clinical and laboratory parameters including blood pressure and NT-proBNP levels were measured before and after each transfusion. The difference of those parameters between two randomized groups and their potential associated factors were analyzed. RESULTS In all, 30 patients undergoing 60 red blood cell transfusions were enrolled in the study. All were randomized and crossover was designed as receiving and not receiving furosemide pretransfusion. No transfusion reactions, symptoms of volume overload and HCC syndrome were observed. No statistically significant correlation was found between pretransfusion furosemide and the difference between pre- and posttransfusion systolic blood pressure (2 mmHg systolic blood pressure difference in pretransfusion furosemide and 1.5 mmHg in no pretransfusion furosemide; p-value = 0.721), as well as between pretransfusion furosemide and the difference between pre- and posttransfusion NT-proBNP levels (-3.8 pg/mL NT-proBNP level difference in pretransfusion furosemide and -2.4 pg/mL in no pretransfusion furosemide; p-value = 0.490). No significant correlation was also observed even in selected patients with high NT-proBNP levels (p-value = 0.262). Associated factors affecting the difference between pre- and posttransfusion NT-proBNP levels were analyzed, and none of those were affected concerning the difference in the levels. CONCLUSION Furosemide has been included in standard transfusion guidelines in many institutions. Our study provided important evidence of the unnecessary use of the drug in preventing volume overload particularly in pediatric and young adult patients with TDT. THAI CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRY TCTR NUMBER TCTR20180209001. Registered 6 February 2018, https://www.clinicaltrials.in.th/.
Anti-Platelet Antibodies in Childhood Immune Thrombocytopenia: Prevalence and Prognostic Implications
Journal of thrombosis and haemostasis : JTH. 2020
BACKGROUND Anti-platelet antibody testing may be useful for the diagnosis and management of childhood immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). OBJECTIVES Here we aimed to assess the prevalence and prognostic significance of anti-platelet glycoprotein-specific IgM and IgG antibodies. METHODS Children with newly diagnosed ITP were included at diagnosis and randomized to an intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) or careful observation group (TIKI trial). In this well-defined and longitudinally followed cohort (N = 179), anti-platelet glycoprotein-specific IgM and IgG antibodies were determined by MAIPA. RESULTS The dominant circulating anti-platelet antibody class in childhood ITP was IgM (62% of patients); but IgG antibodies were also found (10%). Children without IgM platelet antibodies were older and more often female. There was weak evidence for an association between IgM anti-GP IIb/IIIa antibodies and an increased bleeding severity (P=0.03). The IgM and IgG anti-platelet responses partially overlapped, and reactivity was frequently directed against multiple glycoproteins. During one year follow-up, children with IgM antibodies in the observation group displayed a faster platelet recovery compared to children without IgM, also after adjustment for age and preceding infections (P=7.1x10(-5) ). The small group of patients with detectable IgG anti-platelet antibodies exhibited an almost complete response to IVIg treatment (N=12; P=0.02), suggesting that IVIg was particularly efficacious in these children. CONCLUSIONS Testing for circulating anti-platelet antibodies may be helpful for the clinical prognostication and the guidance of treatment decisions in newly diagnosed childhood ITP. Our data suggest that the development of even more sensitive tests may further improve the clinical value of antibody testing.