Abstract in English:OBJECTIVE: Brazilian legislation has recently suggested the use of the qualitative hemolysin test instead of isohemagglutinin titers as prophylaxis for acute hemolysis related to plasma-incompatible platelet transfusions. The efficacy of this test in preventing hemolytic reactions has never been evaluated while isohemagglutinin titers have been extensively studied. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation between the results of these two tests. The impact of each type of prophylaxis on the platelet inventory management and the ability of the qualitative hemolysin test to prevent red cell sensitization after the transfusion of incompatible units were also studied. METHODS: A total of 246 donor blood samples were evaluated using both isohemagglutinin titers and the qualitative hemolysin test, and the results were statistically compared. Subsequently, 600 platelet units were tested using the hemolysin assay and the percentage of units unsuitable for transfusion was compared to historical data using isohemagglutinin titers (cut-off: 100). Moreover, ten patients who received units with minor ABO incompatibilities that were negative for hemolysis according to the qualitative hemolysin test were evaluated regarding the development of hemolysis and red cell sensitization (anti-A or anti-B). RESULTS: Isohemagglutinin titration and the results of qualitative hemolysin test did not correlate. The routine implementation of the qualitative hemolysin test significantly increased the percentage of platelet units found unsuitable for transfusions (15-65%; p-value <0.001). Furthermore the qualitative hemolysin test did not prevent red blood cell sensitization in a small exploratory analysis. CONCLUSION: Qualitative hemolysin test results do not correlate to those of isohemagglutinin titers and its implementation as the prophylaxis of choice for hemolysis associated with plasma-incompatible platelet transfusions lacks clinical support of safety and significantly affects platelet inventory management.
Abstract in English:OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical and laboratory features of children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated at three referral centers in Ceará and evaluate prognostic factors for survival, including age, gender, presenting white blood cell count, immunophenotype, DNA index and early response to treatment. METHODS: Seventy-six under 19-year-old patients with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with the Grupo Brasileiro de Tratamento de Leucemia da InfÃ¢ncia - acute lymphoblastic leukemia-93 and -99 protocols between September 2007 and December 2009 were analyzed. The diagnosis was based on cytological, immunophenotypic and cytogenetic criteria. Associations between variables, prognostic factors and response to treatment were analyzed using the chi-square test and Fisher's exact test. Overall and event-free survival were estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and compared using the log-rank test. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify independent prognostic factors. RESULTS: The average age at diagnosis was 6.3 Â± 0.5 years and males were predominant (65%). The most frequently observed clinical features were hepatomegaly, splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy. Central nervous system involvement and mediastinal enlargement occurred in 6.6% and 11.8%, respectively. B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia was more common (89.5%) than T-acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A DNA index >1.16 was found in 19% of patients and was associated with favorable prognosis. On Day 8 of induction therapy, 95% of the patients had lymphoblast counts <1000/ÂµL and white blood cell counts <5.0 Ã- 109/L. The remission induction rate was 95%, the induction mortality rate was 2.6% and overall survival was 72%. CONCLUSION: The prognostic factors identified are compatible with the literature. The 5-year overall and event-free survival rates were lower than those reported for developed countries. As shown by the multivariate analysis, age and baseline white blood cell count were independent prognostic factors.
Abstract in English:OBJECTIVE: To document the experience of one referral service with patients diagnosed with Evans syndrome, the treatment and response and to briefly review current treatment strategies and results. METHODS: Patients enrolled in this study fulfilled criteria for Evans syndrome. Data were retrieved from the clinical files and electronic databases of the Department of Hematology, Hospital Universitario "Dr. José Eleuterio González". Treatment modalities and response and the use of additional therapies were evaluated. The literature was reviewed in the context of the clinical course of the studied patients. RESULTS: Six patients were diagnosed with Evans syndrome in the study period. Patient 1 was treated with steroids, relapsed twice and was again treated with steroids. Patient 2 treated initially with steroids plus intravenous immunoglobulin was subsequently lost to follow-up. A good response was achieved in Patients 3 and 4, who were treated with steroids plus rituximab; patient 4 also received danazol as a second-line therapy. However both relapsed and subsequently underwent splenectomy at ten and nine months, respectively. One patient, number 5, treated with steroids, danazol and rituximab did not relapse within four years of follow-up and Patient 6, who received steroids plus danazol did not relapse within three years of follow-up. CONCLUSION: Evans syndrome is an uncommon hematologic condition rarely diagnosed and not widely studied. Clinicians must have it in mind when evaluating a patient with a positive direct antiglobulin test, anemia and thrombocytopenia, since prognosis depends on its early recognition and opportune therapy, but even this leads to variable results.
Abstract in English:OBJECTIVE: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been successfully used to treat the pediatric population with malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases. This paper reports the results up to 180 days after the procedure of all unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantations in pediatric patients that were performed in one institution. METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of all under 18-year-old patients who received unrelated transplantations between 1995 and 2009. Data were analyzed using the log-rank test, Cox stepwise model, Kaplan-Meier method, Fine and Gray model and Fisher's exact test. RESULTS: This study included 118 patients (46.8%) who received bone marrow and 134 (53.2%) who received umbilical cord blood transplants. Engraftment occurred in 89.47% of the patients that received bone marrow and 65.83% of those that received umbilical cord blood (p-value < 0.001). Both neutrophil and platelet engraftments were faster in the bone marrow group. Acute graft-versus-host disease occurred in 48.6% of the patients without statistically significant differences between the two groups (p-value = 0.653). Chronic graft-versus-host disease occurred in 9.2% of the patients with a higher incidence in the bone marrow group (p-value = 0.007). Relapse occurred in 24% of the 96 patients with malignant disease with 2-year cumulative incidences of 45% in the bone marrow group and 25% in the umbilical cord blood group (p-value = 0.117). Five-year overall survival was 47%, with an average survival time of 1207 days, and no significant differences between the groups (p-value = 0.4666). CONCLUSION: Despite delayed engraftment in the umbilical cord blood group, graft-versus-host disease, relapse and survival were similar in both groups.
Abstract in English:OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate a correlation of C-reactive protein levels with disease stage and response to treatment in Hodgkin's lymphoma patients of the Hematology Service of Santa Casa de São Paulo. METHODS: A retrospective study based on review of medical records was carried out of 38 patients diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma between October 2010 and December 2012. Three patients met the exclusion criteria, giving a final sample of 35 patients for analysis. C-reactive protein levels >1 mg/dL were considered positive. RESULTS: Among the patients analyzed, median age was 29 years, 65% were male and 85% had the classical nodular sclerosis subtype. Twenty-nine (82%) were in the advanced stage and 28% had bulky mass at diagnosis. Seventeen percent had bone marrow invasion by lymphoma. Baseline C-reactive protein levels were associated with both stage (p-value = 0.0035) and presence or absence of B symptoms (p-value = 0.008). The highest C-reactive protein levels were detected in patients with advanced disease while no patients with localized disease had C-reactive protein >5 mg/dL (p-value = 0.02). After the first treatment cycle, C-reactive protein fell to near-normal levels and no direct association with response pattern was found. As the mean follow-up was only 14 months, it was not possible to determine whether relapse was accompanied by a further increase in C-reactive protein. CONCLUSION: Baseline C-reactive protein levels directly correlated with stage and presence or absence of B symptoms, but the degree of improvement with treatment did not correlate with response pattern. After a longer follow-up, it may be possible to assess whether relapse correlates with a further increase in C-reactive protein levels.
Abstract in English:OBJECTIVE: To analyze the perception of primary care physicians and nurses about access to services and routine health care provided to sickle cell disease patients. METHODS: This descriptive exploratory study took a qualitative approach by surveying thirteen primary care health professionals who participated in a focus group to discuss access to services and assistance provided to sickle cell disease patients. The data were submitted to thematic content analysis. RESULTS: Access to primary care services and routine care for sickle cell disease patients were the categories that emerged from the analysis. Interaction between people with sickle cell disease and primary care health clinics was found to be minimal and limited mainly to scheduling appointments. Patients sought care from the primary care health clinics only in some situations, such as for pain episodes and vaccinations. The professionals noted that patients do not recognize primary care as the gateway to the system, and reported that they feel unprepared to assist sickle cell disease patients. CONCLUSION: In the perception of these professionals, there are restrictions to accessing primary care health clinics and the primary care assistance for sickle cell disease patients is affected.
Abstract in English:Myelodysplastic syndromes represent a group of heterogeneous hematopoietic neoplasms derived from an abnormal multipotent progenitor cell, characterized by a hyperproliferative bone marrow, dysplasia of the cellular hemopoietic elements and ineffective erythropoiesis. Anemia is a common finding in myelodysplastic syndrome patients, and blood transfusions are the only therapeutic option in approximately 40% of cases. The most serious side effect of regular blood transfusion is iron overload. Currently, cardiovascular magnetic resonance using T2 is routinely used to identify patients with myocardial iron overload and to guide chelation therapy, tailored to prevent iron toxicity in the heart. This is a major validated non-invasive measure of myocardial iron overloading and is superior to surrogates such as serum ferritin, liver iron, ventricular ejection fraction and tissue Doppler parameters. The indication for iron chelation therapy in myelodysplastic syndrome patients is currently controversial. However, cardiovascular magnetic resonance may offer an excellent non-invasive, diagnostic tool for iron overload assessment in myelodysplastic syndromes. Further studies are needed to establish the precise indications of chelation therapy and the clinical implications of this treatment on survival in myelodysplastic syndromes.
Abstract in English:Nodal peripheral T-cell lymphomas are a rare group of neoplasms derived from post-thymic and activated T lymphocytes. A review of scientific articles listed in PubMed, Lilacs, and the Cochrane Library databases was performed using the term "peripheral T-cell lymphomas". According to the World Health Organization classification of hematopoietic tissue tumors, this group of neoplasms consists of peripheral T-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS), angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), anaplastic large cell lymphoma-anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALCL-ALK+), and a provisional entity called anaplastic large cell lymphoma-anaplastic lymphoma kinase negative (ALCL-ALK-). Because the treatment and prognoses of these neoplasms involve different principles, it is essential to distinguish each one by its clinical, immunophenotypic, genetic, and molecular features. Except for anaplastic large cell lymphoma-anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive, which has no adverse international prognostic index, the prognosis of nodal peripheral T-cell lymphomas is worse than that of aggressive B-cell lymphomas. Chemotherapy based on anthracyclines provides poor outcomes because these neoplasms frequently have multidrug-resistant phenotypes. Based on this, the current tendency is to use intensified cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisolone (CHOP) regimens with the addition of new drugs, and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This paper describes the clinical features and diagnostic methods, and proposes a therapeutic algorithm for nodal peripheral T-cell lymphoma patients.