Pediatr Nephrol. 2023 Jan 9. doi: 10.1007/s00467-022-05862-1. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Coexisting genetic variants in patients with anti-factor H (FH)-associated atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) have implications for therapy. We estimated the prevalence of complement genetic variants in children with anti-FH aHUS from a prospective nationwide cohort and determined if significant genetic variants impact long-term kidney outcomes.
METHODS: Of 436 patients in the database, 77 consecutive patients, 21 with a relapse and 9 with kidney failure and/or death were included. Targeted sequencing, using a 27-gene panel including CFH, CFI, CFB, C3, CD46, PLG, DGKE, and THBD and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification of CFH-CFHR region, was performed. The adverse outcome was eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73 m2 or death.
RESULTS: Patients had high anti-FH titers 5670 (2177-13,545) AU/ml, relapsing course (42.1%), and adverse outcomes (19.6%). Variants, chiefly of unknown significance, were found in 7 (6.5%; 95% CI 3.1-13.2%); a pathogenic variant was found in one patient. Homozygous deletion of CFHR1 was present in 91.6% compared to 9.8% in 184 healthy controls. Plasma exchanges and immunosuppression showed a trend of improving outcomes, independent of genetic defects (HR 0.32; P = 0.070). Meta-analysis of 18 studies (384 patients) showed that the pooled prevalence of pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants was 3% (95% CI 0-8%). Of 37 total variants in the meta-analysis, 7 (18.9%) each were pathogenic and likely pathogenic; others were variants of unknown significance.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant variants in complement regulatory genes are rare in patients with anti-FH-associated aHUS. Irrespective of genetic defects, plasma exchanges and immunosuppression showed a statistical trend to improved outcomes. A higher resolution version of the Graphical abstract is available as Supplementary information.