DOI: 10.3390/jcm13010225 ISSN: 2077-0383

Blood-Induced Arthropathy: A Major Disabling Complication of Haemophilia

Alexandre Leuci, Yesim Dargaud
  • General Medicine

Haemophilic arthropathy (HA) is one of the most serious complications of haemophilia. It starts with joint bleeding, leading to synovitis which, in turn, can cause damage to the cartilage and subchondral bone, eventually inducing degenerative joint disease. Despite significant improvements in haemophilia treatment over the past two decades and recent guidelines from ISTH and WFH recommending FVIII trough levels of at least 3 IU/dL during prophylaxis, patients with haemophilia still develop joint disease. The pathophysiology of HA is complex, involving both inflammatory and degenerative components. Early diagnosis is key for proper management. Imaging can detect joint subclinical changes and influence prophylaxis. Magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) and ultrasound are the most frequently used methods in comprehensive haemophilia care centres. Biomarkers of joint health have been proposed to determine osteochondral joint deterioration, but none of these biomarkers has been validated or used in clinical practice. Early prophylaxis is key in all severe haemophilia patients to prevent arthropathy. Treatment is essentially based on prophylaxis intensification and chronic joint pain management. However, there remain significant gaps in the knowledge of the mechanisms responsible for HA and prognosis-influencing factors. Better understanding in this area could produce more effective interventions likely to ultimately prevent or attenuate the development of HA.

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