Objectives: To examine the efficacy and safety of recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF) and recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (rhGM-CSF) for the treatment of severe neutropenia due to Felty's syndrome (FS) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: Eight patients with absolute neutrophil counts (ANC) below 1,000/μL attributable to FS (n = 4) or SLE (n = 4) were treated with rhG-CSF. The hematologic and clinical response as well as side effects were recorded. In addition, reports on the use of rhG-CSF/rhGM-CSF in FS and SLE retrieved from the English language literature were analyzed. Results: RhG-CSF effectively corrected neutropenia due to FS and SLE in seven of the current eight patients. In 54 of 55 FS and SLE patients retrieved from the literature, G-CSF or GM-CSF, respectively, proved to be effective at elevating the neutrophil count, which was often associated with improvement of infectious complications. The neutrophil count often declined again when growth factor treatment was stopped but generally stabilized at a level that exceeded the pretreatment count. Side effects included rare cases of thrombocytopenia, arthralgias, and development of cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis. Side effects were dose dependent and resolved when treatment was discontinued. One of our own patients and 17 previously reported patients continued to benefit from long-term administration of rhG-CSF over periods of more than 40 months. Conclusions: RhG-CSF is an effective and generally well- tolerated treatment for neutropenia due to FS or SLE. Exacerbation of the underlying rheumatic condition due to G-CSF appears to be rare if G-CSF is administered at the lowest dose effective at elevating the ANC above 1,000/μL.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)