We identified seven trials, with 895 evaluable participants for this review. All provided data suitable for the primary outcome meta-analysis. One of the trials was new since the last version of this Cochrane systematic review. Risk of bias in the older, smaller studies included some unclear- or high-risk assessments, whereas we deemed the larger studies at low risk of bias. Overall, 79/452 (17%) participants allocated to corticosteroids had incomplete recovery of facial motor function six months or more after randomisation; significantly fewer than the 125/447 (28%) in the control group (risk ratio (RR) , 95% confidence interval (CI) to , seven trials, n = 895). The number of people who need to be treated with corticosteroids to avoid one incomplete recovery was 10 (95% CI 6 to 20). The reduction in the proportion of participants with cosmetically disabling sequelae six months after randomisation was very similar in the corticosteroid and placebo groups (RR , 95% CI to , two trials, n = 75, low-quality evidence). However, there was a significant reduction in motor synkinesis during follow-up in participants receiving corticosteroids (RR , 95% CI to , three trials, n = 485, moderate-quality evidence). Three studies explicitly recorded the absence of adverse effects attributable to corticosteroids. One trial reported that three participants receiving prednisolone had temporary sleep disturbances and two trials gave a detailed account of adverse effects occurring in 93 participants, all non-serious; the combined analysis of data from these three trials found no significant difference in adverse effect rates between people receiving corticosteroids and people receiving placebo (RR , 95% CI to , n = 715).
Inhibitor antibodies directed against factor VIII or factor IX present challenges to the clinician. Fortunately, several management options are available, although each has disadvantages as well as advantages. Alloantibodies against factor VIII (which develop in 25 to 50% of children with severe hemophilia A, as well as in a small percentage of children with mild or moderate hemophilia A) may be low titer and transient or may be high titer. Most patients with high-titer problematic inhibitors now try to eliminate the inhibitor by using one of several immune tolerance induction (ITI) regimens. For treatment of bleeding episodes in patients who have high-titer (> or = 5 Bethesda units) inhibitors, one can use a prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) (preferably an activated PCC [APCC]), recombinant (r) factor VIIa, or porcine factor VIII. The choice of product is generally dependent on the type and severity of the patient's bleeding, degree of cross-reactivity of the patient's inhibitor with porcine factor VIII, physician familiarity with the product, product availability, and cost. In persons with hemophilia B, alloantibodies occur in only 1 to 3% of severely affected individuals. However, in roughly half of those who develop inhibitors, anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions occur on infusion of any type of factor IX-containing product. This phenomenon usually develops after relatively few exposures to factor IX; thus it is recommended that the first 10 to 20 infusions of factor IX given to children with severe hemophilia B be given in a setting equipped for treatment of shock. For treatment of bleeding episodes in patients with severe allergic reactions, rF VIIa is the treatment of choice. ITI has been less successful in hemophilia B patients with inhibitors than in those with hemophilia A, and in a subgroup of patients with severe allergic reactions who were desensitized to factor IX and then tried on ITI, results were even poorer. Additionally, several developed nephrotic syndrome while on ITI. For hemophilia B patients with inhibitors who do not have allergic reactions to factor IX, bleeding episodes can be treated with PCC or APCC or with rF VIIa. Autoantibodies directed against factor VIII are rare but can occur in a variety of settings. They occur mainly in adults, and bleeding is often severe and life threatening. Although some factor VIII autoantibodies disappear spontaneously, most require immunosuppression. Corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide are generally recommended. For treatment of bleeding, therapeutic options include (human) factor VIII concentrates, porcine factor VIII, APCC, and rFVIIa. The choice of product is generally determined by the consulting hematologist's familiarity with the product, product availability and cost, as well as response to treatment.
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