Immune tolerance induction: What have we learned over time?

H. H. Brackmann, G. C. White, E. Berntorp, T. Andersen, C. Escuriola-Ettingshausen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Development of inhibitory antibodies to infused factor VIII (FVIII) concentrates continues to be the most serious complication of haemophilia A management. Induction of immune tolerance by administering high doses of FVIII concentrate (antigen) and prothrombin complex concentrates to control bleeding was originated in the 1970s in Bonn, Germany, by Dr Hans-Hermann Brackmann, and became known as the Bonn protocol. ITI transformed the life of the index patient, who was 19 years of age when he began treatment, and dramatically improved the medical landscape for all patients with haemophilia and inhibitors. Over the past 40 years, variations to the Bonn protocol have been proposed. All protocols are effective although some are better suited than others for use in certain situations. The specific molecular defect in FVIII and the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) type of an individual with haemophilia are major codependent determinants to inhibitor development. Given the range of potential molecular defects and the staggering number of potential HLA types, it is likely that treatment arms of randomized studies in haemophilia represent highly diverse populations, which reduces the power of a study to demonstrate differences between treatments. Although available clinical guidelines and consensus recommendations for ITI therapy are not always in complete agreement, collectively the guidelines provide a reasonable level of guidance for administering ITI therapy under different clinical scenarios. Several studies of ITI therapy are ongoing with the aim of clarifying unresolved issues in haemophilia management including the role of von Willebrand factor in inhibitor eradication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Hematology


  • Bonn protocol
  • factor VIII
  • haemophilia A
  • immune tolerance induction therapy
  • inhibitors
  • von Willebrand factor


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