Diarrhea-associated Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Adults: Two Case Reports and Review of the Literature.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a type of thrombotic microangiopathy syndrome (TMA) defined as a triad of non-immune microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and acute kidney injury. Shiga toxin (Stx) or diarrhea-associated HUS is one of the major categories of secondary HUS, which is seen predominantly in children and is regarded as a rare entity in the adult population. We present two cases of sporadic Stx or diarrhea-associated HUS in adult females. Our first case is a 74-year-old Caucasian woman who presented to the emergency department with nausea, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea for five days. The patient reported a history of consuming meatloaf from a local store three days prior to the onset of symptoms. On presentation, laboratory workup was consistent with hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and acute kidney injury. Thrombocytopenic purpura was ruled out with normal ADAMTS13 activity. The patient's kidney function improved and the platelet count recovered to normal with supportive measures and did not require renal replacement therapy. In the second case, we describe a 79-year-old Caucasian woman with a history of metastatic lung cancer who presented with abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. History was positive for consuming meat from a local restaurant a day prior to the onset of symptoms. Initial laboratory work showed severe thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic hemolytic process, and acute kidney injury requiring continuous renal replacement therapy. Due to the unfavorable prognosis of her metastatic lung cancer, the patient and the family members decided to opt for hospice care and she was subsequently transferred to the inpatient hospice. Diarrhea-associated HUS or Stx-HUS is a relatively underreported entity among the adult population. The treatment of typical or Stx-HUS is mainly supportive, but it is critical to rule out other causes of TMAs, especially thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), as it is a medical emergency that requires prompt plasmapheresis.