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Carissa Y. Dumancas, Hans Alexi Garay Reyes, Juan Cosico, Amrut Savadkar, Soowhan Lah
(Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Metropolitan Hospital Center, New York, USA)
Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:25-28
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare life-threatening condition that has a poor prognosis due to the ensuing cytokine storm leading to severe organ damage. Current treatment guidelines suggest using a combination of steroid- and etoposide-based chemotherapy.
CASE REPORT: The authors present a case of a 41-year-old African-American female who presented with symptoms of foodborne illness and who developed multi-organ dysfunction. HLH was suspected because of poor response to broad-spectrum antibiotics with a constellation of findings, including cytopenia, hypofibrinogenemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and hyperferritinemia. Clinical improvement was noted after administration of intravenous immunoglobulin and dexamethasone while waiting for the soluble interleukin-2 receptor levels; therefore, chemotherapy was not administered.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the variable and poor prognosis of HLH, early treatment with steroids and immunosuppressive therapy is crucial to improving the survival rate. The inclusion of immunoglobulin therapy should be considered a treatment option for HLH.