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Kerley RN;Kelly RM;Cahill MR;Kenny LC;
BMJ case reports
Haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis presenting as HELLP syndrome: a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.
Scopus: 5 ()
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Haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare, potentially fatal, haematological disorder, which can be clinically challenging to diagnose and manage. We report a case of HLH in a previously healthy 33-year-old primigravida. The patient presented at 22 weeks gestation with dyspnoea, abdominal pain, anaemia, thrombocytopenia and elevated liver enzymes suggestive of HELLP syndrome.HELLP, a syndrome characterised by haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets is considered a severe form of pre-eclampsia. Despite delivery of the fetus, her condition deteriorated over 3-4 days with high-grade fever, worsening thrombocytopenia and anaemia requiring transfusion support. A bone marrow biopsy showed haemophagocytosis and a diagnosis of HLH was made. Partial remission was achieved with etoposide-based chemotherapy and complete remission following bone marrow transplantation. Eleven months post-transplant, the disease aggressively recurred, and the patient died within 3┐weeks of relapse.
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