Date: 10 Sep 2011

Acute Parvovirus B19 Infection Leading to Severe Aplastic Anemia in a Previously Healthy Adult Female

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Human Parvovirus B19 has been linked to a variety of diseases. One of the most common complications is transient aplastic crisis in patients with chronic hemolytic anemia. Very few case reports have implicated this virus as a putative etiology behind hepatitis and severe aplastic anemia in immuno competent individuals. We report a case of severe aplastic anemia in a previously healthy adult female due to acute parvovirus B19 infection. Laboratory examination showed pancytopenia in peripheral blood and severe hypoplastic bone marrow on biopsy. Serological analysis (ELISA) revealed acute Parvovirus B19 infection. In the face of unavailable HLA matched bone marrow donor, immuno-supressive therapy was contemplated, but could not be given because of financial constraints. Pancytopenia persists till date, 4 months after the diagnosis, with the patient requiring repeated packed red cell and irradiated platelet transfusions. Thus, acute infection with this virus must be considered a cause of acquired aplastic anemia even in individuals without underlying disease.