The 38-year-old patient had been suffering from repeated venous and arterial thromboses since the age of 22. Despite the use of various conventional anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs, she suffered four strokes following a recent COVID-19 infection. She was diagnosed with autoantibodies against platelet factor 4 (PF4), which triggered blood platelet activation. The laboratory in Greifswald successfully proved that Ibrutinib successfully suppresses this process. Anti-PF4 antibodies gained significant attention all over the world in 2021 as a cause of severe thrombotic complications following COVID-19 vaccinations.
In addition to anticoagulant drugs, the patient was then prescribed the medication Ibrutinib for the first time ever for this kind of treatment. The drug inhibits signal transduction in blood platelets (thrombocytes) and can thus influence blood clotting in an innovative way. Ibrutinib has been used for many years in the treatment of blood cancers.
Since starting the innovative therapy, the patient has not suffered any further thromboses or strokes. With this new therapeutic approach, a promising treatment option is now available for patients whose anti-PF4 antibodies remain in the body for long periods and trigger repeated thromboses. The applicability of this approach to recurrent thromboembolic complications in other patients will be explored in future studies.
Contact at University Medicine Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Andreas Greinacher
Specialist in transfusion medicine
Tel.: +49 3834 86 5479
Contact at the CardioAngiologisches Centrum Bethanien (CCB) Frankfurt/Main
Prof. Dr. E. Lindhoff-Last
Specialist in internal medicine, angiology and haemostaseology
Tel.: +49 69 9450280
Fax: +49 69 461613