Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rarely occurring syndrome with various triggers, is associated with early mortality. Owing to a lack of sufficient corresponding data in Taiwan, this study aimed to identify the outcome and potential factors associated with 180-day mortality in pediatric HLH.
This retrospective study analyzed clinical and laboratory data on pediatric patients diagnosed with HLH at our institute (1995-2019). Logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the associations between various factors and 180-day mortality.
Overall, 48 patients had HLH; their median age at diagnosis was 5 years (interquartile range: 2-11 years). Clinical presentations and laboratory parameters required for diagnosis included fever (98%), splenomegaly (79%), hyperferritinemia (98%), hemophagocytosis (94%), thrombocytopenia (90%), anemia (63%), hypertriglyceridemia (68%), and neutropenia (57%). The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 49%. Of 22 patients who had died at the last follow-up, 15 (68%) died within 180 days after diagnosis. In the multivariate analysis, hemoglobin (odds ratio [OR]: 0.564, p = 0.024) and triglyceride (OR: 1.004, p = 0.049) were significantly associated with 180-day mortality. Higher triglyceride levels at diagnosis were related to significantly lower 180-day OS rates (52.9% vs. 86.1%, p = 0.018).
The overall outcome in our cohort was similar to that reported in some of the largest international cohorts. Hypertriglyceridemia and anemia may be indicative of poor prognoses in pediatric HLH patients independently and may be used to guide treatment strategy formulations for better outcomes.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.