European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 205–207 | Cite as

Digoxin-associated thrombocytopaenia

  • M. Pirovino
  • E. E. Ohnhaus
  • A. von Felten


A 60-year-old male patient had two episodes of thrombocytopaenia whilst being treated with digoxin, each of them reversible upon with-drawal of the drug. Bone marrow examination was consistent with peripheral platelet destruction as the main mechanism of the thrombocytopaenia. The inhibition of clot retraction test was positive, with a declining titer, after cessation of digoxin therapy, and this plus the finding of circulating immune complexes after incubation of the patient's serum with digoxin established digoxin as the offending agent. It is concluded that digoxin may be a rare cause of drug-induced immune-thrombocytopaenia.

Key words

digoxin thrombocytopaenia haematological side effect clot-retraction test 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ackroyd JF (1949) The pathogenesis of thrombocytopenic purpura due to hypersensitivity to sedormid. Clin Sci 7: 249–251PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Karpatkin S (1971) Drug-induced thrombocytopenia. Am J Med Sci 262: 69–78Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Miescher PA (1973) Drug-induced thrombocytopenia. Semin Hematol 10: 311–325PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Young RC, Nachman RL, Horowitz HI (1966) Thrombocytopenia due to digitoxin. Demonstration of antibody and mechanism of action. Am J Med 41: 605–614PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nymand G, Heron J, Jensen KG (1971) Micro complement fixation test for typing of platelets. A new method. Vox Sang 20: 85–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hirschman RJ, Yankee RA, Coller BS, Gralnick HR (1973) Sensitive methods for the detection and characterization of platelet isoantibodies. Thromb Diath Haemorrh 29: 408–415PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Karpatkin S, Strick N, Karpatkin MB, Siskind GW (1972) Cumulative experience in the detection of antiplatelet antibody in 234 patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, systemic lupus erythematosus and other clinical disorders. Am J Med 52: 776–785PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kekomäki R (1977) Detection of platelet-bound IgG with I-125-labeled staphylococcal protein A. Med Biol 55: 112–114PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Theofilopoulos AN, Wilson CB, Dixon FJ (1976) The Raji cell radioimmune assay for detecting immune complexes in human sera. J Clin Invest 57: 169–182PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Okuno T, Crockatt D (1976) Anti-drug-related antibodies in non-thrombocytopenic cardiac patients. Am J Clin Pathol 65: 523–527PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Pirovino
    • 1
  • E. E. Ohnhaus
    • 1
  • A. von Felten
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of MedicineUniversities of Berne and ZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations