Article Abstract

Successful treatment of ibrutinib-associated central nervous system hemorrhage with platelet transfusion support

Authors: Karen Seiter, Michael F. Stiefel, Jacqueline Barrientos, Azfar Shaikh, Nasir Ahmed, Paul Baskind, Delong Liu


Ibrutinib is a novel targeted therapy for B-cell malignancies. Hemorrhagic events were reported in the original trials, however the mechanism of bleeding is just being elucidated. Recent studies have demonstrated platelet dysfunction as a mechanism of bleeding. Currently we report two patients who developed life-threatening central nervous system hemorrhage while receiving ibrutinib for chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma, respectively. Both patients improved rapidly after platelet transfusions even though their platelet counts were normal or only mildly reduced at the time of hemorrhage. We suggest that platelet transfusions can ameliorate the platelet dysfunction defect of ibrutinib and can support the patient through the critical period until new platelet production occurs.