Severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count < 500/μl) is probably due to the combined effects of dysregulated cytokine production and chemotherapeutic agents, and is one of the risk factors in the initial treatment of patients with Epstein-Barr virus-related hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (EBV-HLH). We report here 9 cases of neutropenic HLH, of which 8 were treated with cyclosporin (CSA, 2-6 mg/kg/day; continuous infusion, or 6 mg/kg/day; per os, for periods ranging from 9 days to > 8 weeks) in the initial neutropenic phase during induction treatment using corticosteroids and etoposide. Five of the 6 cases, in which CSA treatment was started early (before the second week of induction), survived the critical period with recovery of neutrophil counts within a week. The remaining 3 cases, in which CSA was introduced later or not at all, died of infection. Based on these results, we recommend a prompt short-term CSA infusion during neutropenic episodes in the most common treatment regimen of etoposide and corticosteroids in patients with HLH. Improved neutrophil recovery as a result of CSA treatment makes it possible to continue immunochemotherapy safely and obtain improved patient outcomes.
- Cyclosporin A
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research