Central nervous system bleeding in patients with rare bleeding disorders
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Central nervous system (CNS) bleeding is one of the most severe and debilitating manifestations occurring in patients with rare bleeding disorders (RBDs). The aim of this study was to retrospectively collect data on patients affected with RBDs who had CNS bleeding, to establish incidence of recurrence, death rate, neurological sequences, most frequent location, type of bleeding and efficacy of treatments. Results pertained to 36 CNS bleeding episodes in 24 patients with severe deficiency except one with moderate factor VII (FVII) deficiency. Six patients (25%) experienced a recurrence and two had more than one recurrence. Seven patients (29%) had an early onset of CNS bleeding before the first 2 years of life, others (71%) later in life. In 76% of cases, CNS bleeding was spontaneous. CNS bleeding was intracerebral in 19 cases (53%), extracerebral in 10 (28%) and both intracerebral and extracerebral in two cases (6%). Neurosurgery was performed in 11 cases, in association with replacement therapy in seven cases. Seizures were noted in four patients. Residual psychomotor abnormalities were seen in two patients. No death was recorded. To prevent recurrence, 17/24 patients (71%) were put on secondary prophylaxis. In conclusion, recurrence of CNS bleeding was confirmed to be relatively frequent in patients with severe FV, FX, FVII and FXIII deficiencies. Most patients were managed with replacement therapy alone, surgery being reserved for those with worsening neurological conditions. Our results indicate that some RBDs require early prophylactic treatment to prevent CNS bleeding. Optimal dosage and frequency of treatment need further evaluation.