A survey of factor prophylaxis in the Canadian haemophilia A population
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High-dose factor prophylaxis, defined as the infusion of 25-40 factor (F) VIII International Units (IU) kg bodyweight (bw)(-1)> or = x 3 per week, started at age 1-2 years of life in boys with severe haemophilia A prevents the development of significant bleed-related arthropathy. However, programmes of prophylaxis are very expensive and venous access is a challenge. To ascertain patterns of prophylaxis in Canada during the period of a global shortage of recombinant FVIII concentrate a survey was conducted in 2001. The response rate was 83% and the survey identified 247 inhibitor-negative haemophilia A cases receiving prophylaxis, defined as the regular administration of FVIII at least once weekly, from 14 Canadian haemophilia treatment centres. The median age of the group identified was 13 years (range: 1-65) and 95% of cases had severe haemophilia A defined by a circulating factor level of <1%. The median FVIII infusion dose was 26 (range: 16-33) IU kg(-1); infusions were administered > or = x 3 per week in 67% of cases. High-dose factor prophylaxis was used most frequently in boys <5 years of age (23 of 28 cases, 82%) as compared with 56% (56 of 100), 66% (40 of 61) and 62% (36 of 58) of males ages 5-12, 13-18 and >18 years. Prophylaxis accounted for 50% of the annual Canadian FVIII consumption and was a major driving force in the 10% increase (=19.3 million FVIII IU) in the FVIII consumption in Canada in the 4-year period 1999-2003. Given the economic implications of increased use of prophylaxis prospective studies are warranted to better define optimal prophylaxis regimens in the haemophilia A population.
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