J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2019 Mar;68(3):325-333
The Genetics Institute, Rambam Health Care Campus.
Objectives: Loss of the complement inhibitor CD55 leads to a syndrome of early-onset protein-losing enteropathy (PLE), associated with intestinal lymphangiectasia and susceptibility to large-vein thrombosis. The in vitro and short-term treatment benefits of eculizumab (C5-inhibitor) therapy for CD55-deficiency have been previously demonstrated. Here we present the 18-months treatment outcomes for 3 CD55-deficiency patients with sustained therapeutic response.
Methods: Three CD55-deficiency patients received off-label eculizumab treatment. Clinical and laboratory treatment outcomes included frequency and consistency of bowl movements, weight, patient/parent reports of overall well-being, and serum albumin and total protein levels. Membrane attack complex deposition on leukocytes was tested by flow cytometry, before and during eculizumab treatment.
Results: Marked clinical improvement was noted in all 3 patients with resolution of PLE manifestations, that is, diarrhea, edema, malabsorption, overall well-being, growth, and quality of life. In correlation with the clinical observations, we observed progress in all laboratory outcome parameters, including increase in albumin and total protein levels, and up to 80% reduction in membrane attack complex deposition on leukocytes (P < 0.001). The progress persisted over 18 months of treatment without any severe adverse events.
Conclusions: CD55-deficiency patients present with early-onset diarrhea, edema, severe hypoalbuminemia, abdominal pain, and malnutrition. Targeted therapy with the terminal complement inhibitor eculizumab has positive clinical and laboratory outcomes in PLE related to CD55 loss-of-function mutations, previously a life-threatening condition. Our results demonstrate the potential of genetic diagnosis to guide tailored treatment, and underscore the significant role of the complement system in the intestine.