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      Successful rituximab treatment of TAFRO syndrome with pathological findings of glomerular endothelial damage

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          Thrombocytopenia, anasarca, fever, renal insufficiency, and organomegaly constitute TAFRO syndrome, a variant of Castleman disease. We describe a patient with TAFRO syndrome who underwent renal biopsy. A 79-year-old woman was referred to us with fever and leg edema. She also had thrombocytopenia, pleural effusion, ascites, and acute kidney injury, and was admitted to our hospital. Her response to initial therapy with corticosteroid and cyclosporine was poor. Therefore, she received 4 doses of rituximab per week, which resulted in clinical improvement, including recovery of thrombocytopenia. A kidney biopsy thereafter showed diffuse, global glomerular endothelial injury indicating thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). These findings suggested that TMA is associated with the thrombocytopenia and renal insufficiency of TAFRO syndrome.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Clinicopathologic analysis of TAFRO syndrome demonstrates a distinct subtype of HHV-8-negative multicentric Castleman disease.

          Multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) describes a heterogeneous group of disorders involving systemic inflammation, characteristic lymph node histopathology, and multi-organ dysfunction because of pathologic hypercytokinemia. Whereas Human Herpes Virus-8 (HHV-8) drives the hypercytokinemia in a cohort of immunocompromised patients, the etiology of HHV-8-negative MCD is idiopathic (iMCD). Recently, a limited series of iMCD cases in Japan sharing a constellation of clinical features, including thrombocytopenia (T), anasarca (A), fever (F), reticulin fibrosis (R), and organomegaly (O) has been described as TAFRO syndrome. Herein, we report clinicopathological findings on 25 patients (14 males and 11 females; 23 Japanese-born and two US-born), the largest TAFRO syndrome case series, including the first report of cases from the USA. The median age of onset was 50 years old (range: 23-72). The frequency of each feature was as follows: thrombocytopenia (21/25), anasarca (24/25), fever (21/25), organomegaly (25/25), and reticulin fibrosis (13/16). These patients frequently demonstrated abdominal pain, elevated serum alkaline phosphatase levels, and acute kidney failure. Surprisingly, none of the cases demonstrated marked hypergammoglobulinemia, which is frequently reported in iMCD. Lymph node biopsies revealed atrophic germinal centers with enlarged nuclei of endothelial cells and proliferation of endothelial venules in interfollicular zone. 23 of 25 cases were treated initially with corticosteroids; 12 patients responded poorly and required further therapy. Three patients died during the observation period (median: 9 months) because of disease progression or infections. TAFRO syndrome is a unique subtype of iMCD that demonstrates characteristic clinicopathological findings. Further study to clarify prognosis, pathophysiology, and appropriate treatment is needed.
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            Proposed diagnostic criteria, disease severity classification and treatment strategy for TAFRO syndrome, 2015 version.

            TAFRO syndrome is a systemic inflammatory disorder characterized by thrombocytopenia, anasarca including pleural effusion and ascites, fever, renal insufficiency, and organomegaly including hepatosplenomegaly and lymphadenopathy. Its onset may be acute or sub-acute, but its etiology is undetermined. Although several clinical and pathological characteristics of TAFRO syndrome resemble those of multicentric Castleman disease (MCD), other specific features can differentiate between them. Some TAFRO syndrome patients have been successfully treated with glucocorticoids and/or immunosuppressants, including cyclosporin A, tocilizumab and rituximab, whereas others are refractory to treatment, and eventually succumb to the disease. Early and reliable diagnoses and early treatments with appropriate agents are essential to enhancing patient survival. The present article reports the 2015 updated diagnostic criteria, disease severity classification and treatment strategy for TAFRO syndrome, as formulated by Japanese research teams. These criteria and classification have been applied and retrospectively validated on clinicopathologic data of 28 patients with this and similar conditions (e.g. MCD with serositis and thrombocytopenia).
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              Castleman-Kojima disease (TAFRO syndrome) : a novel systemic inflammatory disease characterized by a constellation of symptoms, namely, thrombocytopenia, ascites (anasarca), microcytic anemia, myelofibrosis, renal dysfunction, and organomegaly : a status report and summary of Fukushima (6 June, 2012) and Nagoya meetings (22 September, 2012).

              Recently, a unique clinicopathologic variant of multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD) has been identified in Japan. This disease is characterized by a constellation of symptoms, as listed in the title, and multiple lymphadenopathy of mild degree with a pathologic diagnosis of atypical CD, often posing diagnostic and therapeutic problems for pathologists and hematologists, respectively. These findings suggest that this disease represents a novel clinical entity belonging to systemic inflammatory disorders with a background of immunological abnormality beyond the ordinal spectrum of MCD. To define this disorder more clearly, Japanese participants presented clinicopathologic data at the Fukushima and Nagoya meetings. Many of the patients presented by the participants were significantly accompanied by a combination of thrombocytopenia, ascites (anasarca), pleural effusions, microcytic anemia, fever, myelofibrosis, renal dysfunction, and organomegaly (TAFRO). Multiple lymphadenopathies were generally of mild degree, less than 1.5 cm in diameter, and consistently featured the histopathology of mixed- or less hyaline vascular-type CD. Autoantibodies were often detected. However, this disease did not fulfill the diagnostic criteria for well-known autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus. Castleman-Kojima disease and TAFRO syndrome (the favored clinical term) were proposed for this disease. The patients were sensitive to steroid and anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody (tocilizumab), but some exhibited a deteriorated clinical course despite the treatment. The participants proposed a future nationwide survey and a Japanese consortium to facilitate further clinical and therapeutic studies of this novel disease. [J Clin Exp Hematop 53(1): 57-61, 2013].

                Author and article information

                Clin Nephrol Case Stud
                Clinical Nephrology. Case Studies
                Dustri-Verlag Dr. Karl Feistle
                22 June 2018
                : 6
                : 16-20
                Department of Nephrology, Kasugai Municipal Hospital, Kasugai, Japan
                Author notes
                Yosuke Saka, MD, PhD Department of Nephrology, Kasugai Municipal Hospital, Takakicho 1-1-1 Kasugai City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan yosukesaka@ 123456hospital.kasugai.aichi.jp
                © Dustri-Verlag Dr. K. Feistle

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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