High-dose intravenous methylprednisolone therapy for patients with Diamond-Blackfan anemia refractory to conventional doses of prednisone

Juan Carlos Bernini, Juan M. Carrillo, George R. Buchanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess the efficacy and toxicity of very high doses of glucocorticoids in patients with congenital pure red cell aplasia (Diamond-Blackfan anemia) who did not respond to standard doses of prednisone. Study designs: We prospectively treated eight patients with transfusion-dependent Diamond-Blackfan anemia with high intravenous doses of methylprednisolone. All patients had previously not responded to one or more oral courses of prednisone in standard doses and were dependent on erythrocyte transfusions. Every patient initially received methylprednisolone at a dose of 30 mg/kg per day, followed by slow tapering for 4 weeks, but none responded. All patients then received a second treatment course starting at 100 mg of methylprednisolone per kilogram per day, again followed by slow tapering of the dosage. Results: Three patients had a complete response that has been sustained for 21+, 31+, and 41+ months, respectively. One patient had a partial response. Toxic effects included a rise in serum alanine aminotransferase activity in all patients, transient diabetes mellitus in one child, and three episodes of bacteremia in two patients with intravenous access devices. Conclusions: We conclude that very high doses of methylprednisolone may induce sustained remission in some patients with transfusion-dependent Diamond-Blackfan anemia refractory to standard-dose prednisone therapy. (J PEDIATR 1995;127:654-9).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)654-659
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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