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Thrombocytopenia, Anasarca, Fever, Reticulin Fibrosis/Renal Failure, and Organomegaly (TAFRO) Syndrome with Bilateral Adrenal Hemorrhage in Two Caucasian Patients

Unusual clinical course

Grégoire Ducoux, Arthur Guerber, Cécile-Audrey Durel, Bouchra Asli, Jehane Fadlallah, Arnaud Hot

France Department of Internal Medicine, Edouard Herriot Hospital, Lyon, France

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e919536

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.919536

Available online: 2020-02-17

Published: 2020-04-06


BACKGROUND: Thrombocytopenia, anasarca, fever, reticulin fibrosis/renal failure, and organomegaly (TAFRO) syndrome is a variant of idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease. Adrenal hemorrhage has rarely been reported in TAFRO syndrome, and previous cases have mainly been Asian patients. This report is of two Caucasian patients with TAFRO syndrome presenting with acute adrenal insufficiency due to bilateral adrenal hemorrhage.
CASE REPORT: Case 1 was a 19-year-old Caucasian man with no significant past medical history who was admitted with acute abdominal pain, vomiting, anorexia, and moderate weight loss. Case 2 was a 31-year-old Caucasian woman with no past medical history who was admitted to hospital with fever, dyspnea, thoracic and abdominal pain, polyarthralgia, and hypotension. Both patients had splenomegaly, mild lymphadenopathy, thrombocytopenia, acute kidney injury, and myelofibrosis. In both cases, lymph node biopsy histology showed mixed-type idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease. In both patients, a diagnosis of TAFRO was made, and they developed bilateral adrenal hemorrhage with adrenal insufficiency. Case 1 was treated with high-dose steroids, followed by tocilizumab infusion. Due to persistent thrombocytopenia, second-line treatment commenced with rituximab, but the patient relapsed two months later. Tocilizumab treatment was recommenced, which was followed by an immuno-allergic adverse event. He then had a good response to sirolimus. Case 2 died nine months after diagnosis due to acute respiratory distress.
CONCLUSIONS: Two cases of TAFRO syndrome presented with acute adrenal insufficiency due to bilateral adrenal hemorrhage. The symptoms were only partially controlled with tocilizumab, rituximab, and tacrolimus. Adrenal hemorrhage may be a specific manifestation of TAFRO syndrome.

Keywords: adrenal insufficiency, Edema, Giant Lymph Node Hyperplasia, primary myelofibrosis, renal insufficiency, Thrombocytopenia