Diagnosing HLH can be challenging because the symptoms may be mistaken for other conditions. Cincinnati Children’s provides rapid, accurate diagnosis and treatment through specialized lab tests, radiology studies and genetic tests. Our HLH team of physicians, genetics specialists and laboratory staff are knowledgeable about HLH and provide expert test interpretation and personalized treatment recommendations.

Treatment should start immediately once the team makes a diagnosis of HLH. It typically includes the following therapies.

Chemotherapy and Corticosteroids

These drugs are used to bring down the abnormal inflammation that happens with HLH.

Antibody Therapies

Patients may receive antibody therapies that target specific inflammatory proteins or the cells that make them.

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT)

This procedure is designed to cure HLH by replacing the body’s immune system. The Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at Cincinnati Children’s has extensive experience performing HSCTs for children with HLH. They pioneered the use of reduced-intensity conditioning for HLH, which uses less chemotherapy than the standard regimen, decreasing the risk of transplant-related complications.