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A Hematological Menace: Multiple Venous Thrombosis Complicated by Acquired Factor VIII Deficiency

Robin Paudel, Luis W. Dominguez, Prerna Dogra, Saurav Suman, Simon Badin, Carrie Wasserman

(Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2016; 17:214-218

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.895316

BACKGROUND: Acquired hemophilia A (AHA) classically presents with spontaneous bleeding of mucosal sites, GI tract, and subcutaneous tissues, often leading to large hematomas and ecchymosis. Among documented cases, 50% are idiopathic and few have been associated with trauma or surgery. We present a case of life-threatening bleeding caused by AHA, following trauma and complicated by multiple venous thrombi.
CASE REPORT: A 21-year-old man presented with multiple injuries secondary to trauma leading to extensive life-saving surgery. Two weeks post-operatively, he developed multiple deep venous thrombi and was started on anticoagulation. Twenty-four days post-operatively, he started bleeding from multiple mucosal sites and developed an abdominal hematoma. Anticoagulation was stopped, with administration of fresh frozen plasma and vitamin K. Diagnosis of AHA was made based on low factor VIII level and presence of factor VIII inhibitors after an appropriate battery of tests ruled out other possible diagnoses. He was started on steroids and recombinant factor VIIa, leading to immediate improvement. Once stable, Rituximab infusions resulted in decreasing factor VIII inhibitor levels, with gradual normalization of PTT.
CONCLUSIONS: AHA remains a diagnostic challenge because of its rarity, leading to delay in diagnosis and causing significant morbidity and mortality. Elevated PTT relative to PT/INR is a strong clue which should be followed by mixing studies. Very few cases have been associated with surgery or trauma and relatively few large, controlled trials have compared different treatment modalities for AHA. Growing evidence supports anti-CD20 (Rituximab) as an effective treatment option, as in this case.

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