The Role of Early Subspeciality Consultation in the Timing of Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis Diagnosis and Management

Sneha Patel, Ayesha Bibi, Ruth Eisenberg, Inessa Gendlina, Irina Murakhovskaya, Manish Ramesh, Yevgeniy Balagula, Anand Kumthekar

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1 Scopus citations


Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between timing of subspeciality consult and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) consideration, immunosuppression initiation, and in-hospital mortality in patients with HLH. Methods We conducted a medical records review study of patients 18 years or older with definite or probable HLH at Montefiore Medical Center between 2006 and 2019. Earlier subspeciality consultation (rheumatology, hematology, and infectious disease) was defined as consultation in less than or equal to 18 hours from time of admission. Demographic, clinical characteristics, and outcomes were compared between patients with early and later subspecialty consultation. Results A total of 28 patients were included. The median age was 40 years, and 61% of patients were male. Infection was identified as a cause of HLH in 13 patients (46%). Fifteen patients (54%) were classified as having an earlier subspeciality consultation with a median time (interquartile range) to HLH consideration of 1.0 day (0.3-4.2 days) compared with 7.9 days (3.1-9.9 days) for the later consultation group (p = 0.002). The median time (interquartile range) to immunosuppression initiation was 4.6 days (1.7-7.8 days) versus 10.9 days (5.1-13.4 days) (p = 0.01), respectively. Five patients (33%) had in-hospital deaths in the early consultation group compared with 7 patients (54%) in later consultation group (p = 0.27). Among the subset of patients who survived to discharge, the 90-day readmission rate was higher in the later consultation group (83% vs 30%, p = 0.12). Conclusions In patients with HLH, earlier subspeciality consultation may play a role in earlier HLH consideration and treatment initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E462-E466
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • consultants
  • cytokines
  • hematology
  • hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
  • histiocytosis
  • infectious disease
  • rheumatology
  • sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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