BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Desmopressin is the treatment of choice for patients with von Willebrand's disease and mild hemophilia A. This compound is also useful in other congenital and acquired disorders of hemostasis, reducing the need for blood derivatives with the inherent risks of infections and alloimmunization. The following article presents a pilot study on the safety and efficacy of desmopressin for the treatment or prevention of bleeding in 15 patients with thrombocytopenia associated with hematologic malignancies. METHODS: Cases were consecutively recruited from February to June 1995. Fifteen patients were treated with desmopressin for prevention or treatment of bleeding. Desmopressin was diluted in 100 mL of isotonic saline and infused for 30 minutes. Bleeding time (BT) was carried out using the Simplate II device, making two standardized incisions on the forearm: the mean between the two incisions was recorded. RESULTS: Significant reduction of BT was observed in three out of four patients with myelodysplastic syndrome who were successfully treated for active bleeding or dental extraction. In the remaining patients, the effect of desmopressin on BT was not tested. Nevertheless, in all of them bleeding mainly due to epistaxis or persistent gum oozing was stopped by a single infusion of desmopressin. In three patients, desmopressin infusion had been successfully administered on a different occasion. No side effects were observed. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: Desmopressin could be a safe and immediately effective option for the treatment or prevention of bleeding in selected patients with hematologic malignancies.
G Castaman, ED Bona, C Schiavotto, L Trentin, A D’Emilio, F Rodeghiero. Pilot study on the safety and efficacy of desmopressin for the treatment or prevention of bleeding in patients with hematologic malignancies. Haematologica 1997;82(5):584-587; https://doi.org/10.3324/%x.