Hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 has been widely known as a common cause of acute renal failure in children.
Analyses from the 2011 outbreak of hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with Escherichia coli O104:H4 reported that mortality rates are highest in those patients with age >60-years old. Therefore, recognizing Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli-hemolytic uremic syndrome in older people can help early introduction of the appropriate therapy.
We describe an 86-year-old Caucasian woman, initially treated as suspected thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, with worsening neurological and renal functions despite plasmapheresis (plasma exchange). A subsequent normal ADAMTS13 activity level and positive stool sample for Escherichia coli O157:H7 confirmed the diagnosis of Shiga toxin-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome. We shifted our management towards aggressive supportive care. Despite conventional treatment, hemolytic uremic syndrome unfortunately led to her death.
Our case demonstrates the importance of recognizing Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli-hemolytic uremic syndrome as an etiology of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia in older people. According to the current literature, supportive care is the best approach for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli-hemolytic uremic syndrome. Therapies such as plasma exchange and eculizumab (a complement inhibitor) are not shown to be effective in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli-hemolytic uremic syndrome.
There is a dire need to continue research to find better treatment options in this disease entity with a high mortality, particularly in older people.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection in older adults: a case report and review of the literature
Journal of Medical Case Reports, Volume 10, Issue 175, June 2, 2016, DOI: 10.1186/s13256-016-0970-z
Heidi Ko, Hossein Maymani, and Cristhiam Rojas-Hernandez