aHUS Triggers

aHUS Triggers
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Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a chronic multi-organ disease that primarily affects kidney function, may be caused by a genetic mutation coupled with a triggering event. Because aHUS can lead to tissue damage, anemia, and a high risk of bleeding and bruising, it’s important to understand more about the triggers that may be at play in causing the disease’s development.

The following is some information about aHUS triggers that may be helpful.

What are disease triggers?

A trigger, or precipitating event, is generally something that sets off a disease in individuals who are genetically predisposed to developing it. It also could be something that causes a certain symptom to occur in a person who has a disease.

What are the triggers in aHUS?

At least half of people with aHUS have an underlying genetic mutation that, coupled with a triggering event, may cause a flare-up. A genetic mutation alone is usually not enough to cause disease symptoms.

Triggers may include infections, certain medicines, vaccinations, organ transplants, pregnancy, other autoimmune conditions, metabolic conditions, and cancer.

Here is more information about each trigger category:

Infections

Infections that can trigger aHUS include diarrheal illnesses caused by a norovirus or bacteria such as Campylobacter upsaliensis, Clostridium difficile, and Fusobacterium necrophorum.

Respiratory infections caused by Bordetella pertussis, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Hemophilus influenza also may trigger aHUS in predisposed individuals.

Other viral triggers may include varicella, cytomegalovirus, influenza H1N1, hepatitis A and C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Coxsackie B virus, Epstein-Barr virus, dengue, HHV6, and human parvovirus B19.

Finally, parasitic infections caused by plasmodium falciparum also may set off aHUS.

Medications and drugs

Among the medications and drugs that may trigger aHUS are cisplatin, gemcitabine, mitomycin, clopidogrel, quinine, interferon-alfa/beta, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor, campath, cyclosporin tacrolimus, ciprofloxacin, and oral contraceptives. Illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy also may trigger aHUS.

Vaccination

The hepatitis B vaccine may be a possible aHUS trigger in individuals who have a genetic predisposition for the disease.

Organ transplant

Bone marrow transplants may trigger aHUS in some cases.

Pregnancy

In patients carrying a complement gene mutation, pregnancy may cause aHUS.

Autoantibodies and autoimmune conditions

Such triggers can include anticardiolipin and C3Nef, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Metabolic conditions

Certain metabolic conditions may cause aHUS, including methylmalonic aciduria combined with homocystinuria. Both interfere with the body’s ability to break down proteins.

Cancer

aHUS may be triggered by certain cancers. These include gastric, breast, prostate, lung, colon, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer, or lymphoma.

Other cases

In rare cases of aHUS, neither gene mutations nor antibodies are present. Some scientists think that there may be other genes that may play a role in the development of the disease.

 

Last updated: Jan. 11, 2021

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aHUS News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”

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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”

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