The autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is an inborn immunity error, which is the result of a heterogeneous group of mutations in the genes that regulate the apoptosis phenomenon. It typically appears in the first years of life. The most common clinical signs are lymphoid expansion with lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and hepatomegaly; immune disease with different types of cytopenia, including thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, and lymphoma. The lab abnormalities that facilitate the diagnosis of ALPS include the presence of double negative alpha/beta T cells, high interleukin levels, vitamin B12 in the blood, and FAS-mediated defective apoptosis in the in vitro assay. The treatment of ALPS is focused on three aspects: The treatment of the manifestations of the disease, the prevention/treatment of complications, and the curative treatment (hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation [HPCT]). The use of immunosuppressive therapy is suggested only for severe complications of lymphoproliferation or concomitant autoimmune manifestations. Splenectomy is not recommended for autoimmune manifestations in patients with ALPS. HPCT is reserved for selected patients. The survival rate to 50 years is estimated at 85% for patients with FAS deficiency.
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