TITLE

Whose TPMT activity is it anyway?

AUTHOR(S)
Ford, Loretta; Prout, Catherine; Gaffney, Dairena; Berg, Jonathan
PUB. DATE
November 2004
SOURCE
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry;Nov2004, Vol. 41 Issue 6, p498
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Determination of thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) activity prior to starting azathioprine therapy is used to identify individuals with low or deficient TPMT activities who are at risk of severe complications and even death This case describes a patient treated with azathioprine without prior knowledge of TPMT status. Pancytopaenia developed over several months and at this point TPMT activity was determined and found to be low at 16 nmol 6-methyl thioguanine (6-MTG)/g Hb/h, which is within the reference interval associated with heterozygosity for TPMT mutant alleles. On repeating the TPMT measurement 3 months later, the TPMT activity was 2 nmol 6-MTG/g Hb/h, consistent with deficient TPMT activity (homozygosity for TPMT mutant alleles), suggesting the patient is at high risk of myelosuppression if treated with thiopurine drugs. Retrospectively, it was found that the patient had received transfusions of red blood cell and platelets 6 days before TPMT activity was first measured. This case underlines the importance of determining TPMT activity status prior to azathioprine treatment, rather than taking a dose incrementation approach. It also highlights the caution that must be taken in interpreting TPMT activity in patients who have recently been transfused.
ACCESSION #
22630849

 

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