Key Points

  • This prospective study shows that in aHUS patients eculizumab discontinuation based on complement genetics is reasonable and safe.

  • Such discontinuation strategy improves the management and QOL of a sizeable proportion of aHUS patients, while reducing the treatment cost.

The optimal duration of eculizumab treatment in patients with atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) remains poorly defined. We conducted a prospective national multicentric open-label study in order to assess eculizumab discontinuation in children and adults with aHUS. Fifty-five patients (including 19 children) discontinued eculizumab (mean duration of treatment, 16.5 months). Twenty-eight (51%) patients had complement gene rare variants, mostly in MCP (n= 12, 22%), CFH (n= 6, 11%) and CFI (n=6, 10%) genes. At eculizumab discontinuation, 17 (30%) and 4 (7%) patients had chronic kidney disease stage 3 and 4, respectively. During follow-up, 13 (23%) patients (6 children and 7 adults) experienced aHUS relapse. In multivariable analysis, female gender and the presence of a rare complement gene variant were associated with an increased risk of aHUS relapse, whereas requirement for dialysis during previous episodes of acute aHUS was not. In addition, an increased soluble C5b-9 plasma level at eculizumab discontinuation was associated with a higher risk of aHUS relapse in all patients and in the subset of carriers of complement gene rare variants, in log rank test and in multivariable analysis. Among the 13 relapsing patients, who were all restarted on eculizumab, 11 regained their baseline renal function and two had a worsening of their pre-existing chronic kidney disease, including one patient who progressed to end-stage renal disease. A strategy of eculizumab discontinuation in aHUS patients based on complement genetics is reasonable and safe. It improves the management and quality of life of a sizeable proportion of aHUS patients while reducing the cost of treatment. Trail registration number: NCT02574403.

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