Poster Board III-419
About 25% of patients with severe hemophilia A develop neutralizing antibodies to factor VIII (FVIII), termed inhibitors, within a median of eleven exposure days to factor VIII containing therapeutic replacement products. Effective monitoring of inhibitor development in young hemophilic children is hampered by their frequently difficult venous access and their limitations on blood sample size, often making it a challenge to obtain samples suitable to carry out standard PTT based Bethesda assays. We evaluated the performance of the Factor VIII Antibody Screen (GTI Diagnostics, Waukesha, WI), an ELISA-based assay to detect FVIII antibodies in a cohort of hemophilia A patients as they were first exposed to FVIII replacement therapy for treatment of hemorrhages. FVIII antibodies were detected in the assay by incubation of duplicate patient samples and controls in microtiter wells coated with recombinant FVIII. After washing, bound FVIII antibody was detected with alkaline phosphatase conjugated goat anti-human IgG, and a colorimetric endpoint (optical density [OD] read at 405or 410 nm by spectrophotometry) determined in an ELISA plate-reader after incubation with p-nitrophenyl phosphate. Samples were considered positive if the average of the sample ODs was higher than the positive controls or negative if the average of the sample ODs was lower than the negative controls. Thirty consecutively identified patients with severe hemophilia A, who were enrolled in a longitudinal inhibitor study, and had samples of serum or plasma banked from the time of their first exposures to FVIII-containing therapeutic products were included. Patients were followed a median of 15.5 years (range 2 – 23 years). Nineteen (63%) of the patients never developed clinical or laboratory evidence of inhibitor development during follow-up. Eleven of the thirty (37%) developed an inhibitor during follow-up; one of these occurred in a 5 year-old after more than 650 exposure days to factor VIII concentrate. There were no differences in the time-to-first-exposure or pattern of hemorrhages in the two groups with the exception that all post-circumcision hemorrhages (N=6) occurred in the non-inhibitor group. In the non-inhibitor group, banked samples were selected corresponding to 0, 5, 10 and >50 factor VIII exposure-days; none of these samples had a positive result in the FVIII antibody screen ELISA. In the 11 inhibitor patients, banked samples were selected that corresponded with the earliest available sample, a sample obtained prior to the first positive Bethesda assay, the first Bethesda positive sample, a sample obtained at the initiation of immune tolerance induction (ITI), the peak Bethesda titer sample, the first negative Bethesda titer sample during ITI, and the most recent sample. All eleven of those who developed an inhibitor underwent successful immune-tolerance therapy with high dose (100 units/kg/day) factor VIII infusions. All Bethesda positive samples were positive by the FVIII antibody screen ELISA with one exception, a sample from one of the inhibitor patients just prior to development of a recurrent inhibitor. There were 5 Bethesda assay negative/FVIII antibody screen ELISA positive samples in the inhibitor patients; each of these samples had been obtained during ITI at 24-48 hours post factor VIII concentrate infusions, and were concordant with lower than expected factor VIII recoveries. We conclude that the ELISA-based FVIII antibody screen is sensitive and specific for the detection of factor VIII antibodies in patients with hemophilia A who develop inhibitors. Because it can be carried out with small serum as well as plasma samples, it provides a convenient method to obtain results in small patients with poor venous access, although quantification of the antibody titer in positive samples would require additional sample to carry out a PTT-based Bethesda assay. Unlike the Bethesda assay, this ELISA-based assay was able to detect antibodies in transfused patients undergoing ITI without the need for a prolonged washout period. Prospective studies to determine the utility and cost-effectiveness of this method are warranted.
Gill:GTI Diagnositcs: Consultancy. Stapleton:GTI Diagnostics: Employment. Kern:GTI Diagnostics: Employment.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.