A case of Alemtuzumab-induced neutropenia in multiple sclerosis in association with the expansion of large granular lymphocytes.BMC Neurol. 2018 Oct 29; 18(1):178.BN
Alemtuzumab has been demonstrated to reduce the risks of relapse and accumulation of sustained disability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients compared to β-interferon. It acts against CD52, leading primarily to lymphopenia. Recent data have shown that mild neutropenia is observed in 16% of treated MS-patients whereas severe neutropenia occurred in 0.6%.
Herein, we present the case of a 34-year-old woman with relapsing-remitting MS, with a history of treatment with glatiramer acetate and natalizumab, who subsequently received Alemtuzumab (12 mg / 24 h × 5 days). 70-days after the last Alemtuzumab administration, the patient displayed neutropenia (500 neutrophils/μL) with virtual absence of B-cells (0.6% of total lymphocytes), low values of CD4-T-cells (6.6%) and predominance of CD8-T-cells (48%) and NK-cells (47%); while large granular lymphocytes (LGL) predominated in the blood-smear examination. Due to prolonged neutropenia (5-days) the patient was placed on low-dose corticosteroids leading to sustained remission.
This is the first case of a patient with relapsing-remitting MS with neutropenia two months post-Alemtuzumab, with simultaneous presence of LGL cells in the blood and a robust therapeutic response to prednisolone. We recommend testing with a complete blood count every 15 days in the first 3 months after the 1st Alemtuzumab administration and searching for large granular lymphocytes cell expansion on microscopic examination of the peripheral blood if neutropenia develops.