Risk of Atypical HUS Among Family Members of Patients Carrying Complement Regulatory Gene Abnormality

Gianluigi Ardissino, Selena Longhi, Luigi Porcaro, Giulia Pintarelli, Bice Strumbo, Valentina Capone, Donata Cresseri, Giulia Loffredo, Francesca Tel, Stefania Salardi, Martina Sgarbanti, Laura Martelli, Evangeline Millicent Rodrigues, Nicolò Borsa-Ghiringhelli, Giovanni Montini, Manuela Seia, Massimo Cugno, Fabio Carfagna, Dario Consonni, Silvana Tedeschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is mainly due to complement regulatory gene abnormalities with a dominant pattern but incomplete penetrance. Thus, healthy carriers can be identified in any family of aHUS patients, but it is unpredictable if they will eventually develop aHUS. Methods: Patients are screened for 10 complement regulatory gene abnormalities and once a genetic alteration is identified, the search is extended to at-risk family members. The present cohort study includes 257 subjects from 71 families: 99 aHUS patients (71 index cases + 28 affected family members) and 158 healthy relatives with a documented complement gene abnormality. Results: Fourteen families (19.7%) experienced multiple cases. Over a cumulative observation period of 7595 person-years, only 28 family members carrying gene mutations experienced aHUS (overall penetrance of 20%), leading to a disease rate of 3.69 events for 1000 person-years. The disease rate was 7.47 per 1000 person-years among siblings, 6.29 among offspring, 2.01 among parents, 1.84 among carriers of variants of uncertain significance, and 4.43 among carriers of causative variants. Conclusions: The penetrance of aHUS seems a lot lower than previously reported. Moreover, the disease risk is higher in carriers of causative variants and is not equally distributed among generations: siblings and the offspring of patients have a much greater disease risk than parents. However, risk calculation may depend on variant classification that could change over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1614-1621
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • aHUS
  • complement genes
  • penetrance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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