Lusher JM., Inhibitor antibodies to factor VIII and factor IX: management. Seminars in Thrombosis & Hemostasis. 26(2):179-88, 2000.
Inhibitor antibodies directed against factor VIII or factor IX present challenges to the clinician. Fortunately, several management options are available, although each has disadvantages as well as advantages. Alloantibodies against factor VIII (which develop in 25 to 50% of children with severe hemophilia A, as well as in a small percentage of children with mild or moderate hemophilia A) may be low titer and transient or may be high titer. Most patients with high-titer problematic inhibitors now try to eliminate the inhibitor by using one of several immune tolerance induction (ITI) regimens. For treatment of bleeding episodes in patients who have high-titer (> or = 5 Bethesda units) inhibitors, one can use a prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) (preferably an activated PCC [APCC]), recombinant (r) factor VIIa, or porcine factor VIII. The choice of product is generally dependent on the type and severity of the patient's bleeding, degree of cross-reactivity of the patient's inhibitor with porcine factor VIII, physician familiarity with the product, product availability, and cost. In persons with hemophilia B, alloantibodies occur in only 1 to 3% of severely affected individuals. However, in roughly half of those who develop inhibitors, anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions occur on infusion of any type of factor IX-containing product. This phenomenon usually develops after relatively few exposures to factor IX; thus it is recommended that the first 10 to 20 infusions of factor IX given to children with severe hemophilia B be given in a setting equipped for treatment of shock. For treatment of bleeding episodes in patients with severe allergic reactions, rF VIIa is the treatment of choice. ITI has been less successful in hemophilia B patients with inhibitors than in those with hemophilia A, and in a subgroup of patients with severe allergic reactions who were desensitized to factor IX and then tried on ITI, results were even poorer. Additionally, several developed nephrotic syndrome while on ITI. For hemophilia B patients with inhibitors who do not have allergic reactions to factor IX, bleeding episodes can be treated with PCC or APCC or with rF VIIa. Autoantibodies directed against factor VIII are rare but can occur in a variety of settings. They occur mainly in adults, and bleeding is often severe and life threatening. Although some factor VIII autoantibodies disappear spontaneously, most require immunosuppression. Corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide are generally recommended. For treatment of bleeding, therapeutic options include (human) factor VIII concentrates, porcine factor VIII, APCC, and rFVIIa. The choice of product is generally determined by the consulting hematologist's familiarity with the product, product availability and cost, as well as response to treatment.