Acquired Hemophilia in a Patient With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Case Report and Literature Review

Masen Abdel Jaber, Roberto Bortolotti, Sara Martinelli, Mara Felicetti, Teresa Aloisi, Giuseppe Paolazzi

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/cmi.v12i1.1362

Abstract

Acquired hemophilia (AH) is a rare bleeding disorder caused by the spontaneous development of autoantibodies against coagulation factors, most commonly factor (F) VIII (acquired hemophilia A, AHA). The clinical manifestation of AHA includes mostly spontaneous hemorrhages into skin, mucous membranes, muscles, soft tissues, or joints. AHA should be suspected when a patient with no history of hemorrhages presents with bleeding and an unexplained prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time. The diagnosis is based on the clinical picture, the presence of low FVIII activity and evidence of FVIII inhibitor. In around half of patients, an underlying disorder (rheumatic diseases, malignancy, infections) or taking some drugs are associated with AHA; the remaining cases are idiopathic. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition, marked by swelling and tenderness of small joints; it is usually treated with steroid and immunosuppressive drugs such as methotrexate, TNF-alpha inhibitors, and other biologic therapies (abatacept, tocilizumab, rituximab).

We presented a patient with rheumatoid arthritis who developed acquired hemophilia A with hemarthroses; starting from this case, we focused on the literature about AHA in rheumatic diseases. We found 35 cases, 15 in systemic lupus erythematosus and 12 in rheumatoid arthritis, while the remaining cases were reported in Sjögren’s syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, systemic sclerosis, and psoriatic arthritis. Ecchymosis and cutaneous hematomas were the main clinical features while hemarthroses was quite a rare condition, shown in just three patients.

Keywords

Acquired Hemophilia; Arthritis, Rheumatoid; Rheumatic Diseases

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