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Rituximab responsive immune thrombocytopenic purpura in an adult with underlying autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome due to a splice-site mutation (IVS7+2 T>C) affecting the Fas gene

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A 36 yr-old man of Israeli descent with a history of childhood splenectomy for severe thrombocytopenia and a family history of autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), presented with severe immune thrombocytopenic purpura refractory to standard therapy. He was found to possess a heterozygous mutation in the Fas gene (also termed TNFRSF6, CD95, Apo-1) affecting the donor splice site of intron 7 (IVS7+2 T>C). This frameshift mutation truncates the cytoplasmic domain of the Fas death receptor, resulting in circulating CD4/8 double negative T lymphocytes, lymphadenopathy and autoimmune complications typical of ALPS. Administration of Rituximab in this patient was associated with a durable hematologic response (currently more than 12 months). This report highlights the need to consider rare inherited causes of thrombocytopenia in adults with a family history of immune cytopenia(s) and the effective use of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody in patients unresponsive to immunosuppression and splenectomy.
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Keywords: Fas; Rituximab; TNFRSF6; autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome; immune thrombocytopenic purpura

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Haematology Department, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia 2: Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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