A 36 yr-old man of Israeli descent with a history of childhood splenectomy for severe thrombocytopenia and a family history of autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), presented with severe immune thrombocytopenic purpura refractory to standard therapy. He was found to possess a heterozygous mutation in the Fas gene (also termed TNFRSF6, CD95, Apo-1) affecting the donor splice site of intron 7 (IVS7+2 T>C). This frameshift mutation truncates the cytoplasmic domain of the Fas death receptor, resulting in circulating CD4/8 double negative T lymphocytes, lymphadenopathy and autoimmune complications typical of ALPS. Administration of Rituximab in this patient was associated with a durable hematologic response (currently more than 12 months). This report highlights the need to consider rare inherited causes of thrombocytopenia in adults with a family history of immune cytopenia(s) and the effective use of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody in patients unresponsive to immunosuppression and splenectomy.
- Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
- Immune thrombocytopenic purpura