How to Detect and Treat Inhibitors
In severe hemophilia, an inhibitor is most likely to develop when a child is young and starts receiving regular infusions of factor product. In mild or moderate hemophilia, it is more likely for a patient to develop an inhibitor following a major surgery or later in life due to their less frequent use of factor products.
Inhibitors can have a very negative effect on the health of a patient, as they make it hard to stop bleeding once it occurs. This may lead to an increased risk of joint damage, general ill health and risk of hospitalization or death.
It is very important to diagnose an inhibitor as early as possible and begin immune tolerance induction (ITI). In general, the earlier an inhibitor is detected, the easier the ITI therapy will be. Contact the IHTC immediately if you or your child believes your factor product or prophylaxis regimen is not working as well as in the past. This is one of the earliest signs of an inhibitor.
Inhibitors are also found on screening laboratory evaluations, completed in clinic, often before symptoms occur. IHTC works with national partners such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide our patients with the most advanced monitoring tests.
IHTC’s expert staff diagnoses inhibitors and recommends all hemophilia patients are tested annually, while more frequent testing is recommended for patients who are young or at higher risk of developing an inhibitor.