Treatment and Prevention of Bleeds in Haemophilia Patients with Inhibitors to Factor VIII/IX
The management of patients with inhibitors is an important challenge in haemophilia care. The lack of randomized controlled trials means that clinical decisions are generally based on subjective opinions, and purchasers' attention is likely to focus on the costs of treatment. In order to assess the current management of inhibitor patients and use of immune tolerance induction therapy (ITI) in Europe, we performed a survey within a European network of 21 comprehensive care centres from 14 countries (the European Haemophilia Therapy Standardisation Board). The survey identified a total of 381 patients with inhibitors attending the centres, 211 (55.4%) of whom had never been exposed to ITI. Between 1998 and 2003, the centres performed 233 procedures and 114 (48.9%) were successful. The survey demonstrated that dosing, which is the time to start and stop the ITI, the type of concentrate to use and the definition of success varied among the centres. Well-designed trials are warranted to guide decision-making, but in the absence of these studies we have developed consensus guidance for the management of inhibitor patients based on current clinical practice, as identified by the survey, and review of the literature.