, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 155-158,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 11 Jun 2014

Etanercept-Associated Transient Bone Marrow Aplasia: A Review of the Literature and Pathogenetic Mechanisms


A patient with rheumatoid arthritis presented with increasing fatigue, fever, gingival bleeding, and petechial rash. Her symptoms started 1 week after the first injection of etanercept (Enbrel). Her only other medications (methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine) had been unchanged for years. Tests revealed severe pancytopenia and bone marrow aplasia. She recovered with supportive treatment within 12 days. The literature on serious blood dyscrasias associated with anti-tumor necrosis factor-α therapy is reviewed, an intriguing postulated mechanism is discussed, and selective patient monitoring is recommended.