Screening and diagnostic clinical algorithm for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria: Expert consensus
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OBJECTIVE: Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a severe, life-threatening disorder for which early diagnosis is essential. However, given the rarity of the disease and non-specificity of symptoms, correct diagnosis may be delayed or missed. While various hematologic guidelines note common signs and symptoms associated with PNH, international expert consensus based on real-world clinical experience and an actionable algorithm for non-specialists to facilitate screening and diagnosis are lacking. The objective of the study is to develop a clinically relevant, consensus-driven screening and diagnostic algorithm on PNH for non-specialist clinicians. METHODS: An expert advisory committee of PNH experts from North America, Europe, and Japan was convened, and a modified Delphi methodology was employed to develop an algorithm to assist non-specialist clinicians in identifying signs/symptoms of PNH and conducting appropriate differential diagnosis. Twelve globally representative Delphi panelists with clinical expertise in PNH were identified and recruited. Panelists provided their differential diagnosis for 5 blinded case studies via 2 rounds of online questionnaires. Responses mentioned by >50% of panelists in the first round were included in the second-round questionnaire, at which point consensus was attained if >80% of panelists agreed on an approach. RESULTS: Consensus was reached for 95% of screening and diagnostic decision points and 90% of tests required at decision points. CONCLUSION: These results facilitated development of a consensus-based, clinically relevant algorithm, providing non-specialist clinicians with actionable guidance on PNH screening and diagnosis.