Recommendations on haematological criteria for the diagnosis of epoetin-induced pure red cell aplasia

Eur J Haematol. 2004 Dec;73(6):389-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2004.00348.x.


Pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) is a rare condition characterised by an arrest in red blood cell production, which may be congenital or acquired. Recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin) was introduced in 1989 for the treatment of anaemia of chronic kidney disease patients and has maintained an excellent therapeutic and safety record while treating hundreds of thousands of patients. A very rare, but serious adverse event associated with epoetin administration is a condition in which patients develop neutralising anti-erythropoietin antibodies and, consequently, PRCA. This condition is referred to as epoetin-induced PRCA (epo-PRCA). Since it is a rare condition, many haematologists and nephrologists around the world see the condition infrequently and may be uncertain about the diagnosis. For this reason, an ad hoc international working group of expert haematologists and nephrologists met together to derive new recommendations for the haematological diagnosis of epo-PRCA. These recommendations, which represent the consensus opinions of the working group, address haematological approaches to monitor and investigate suspected epo-PRCA and should help physicians differentiate between PRCA and other bone marrow diseases, as well as, between PRCA and epo-PRCA.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Bone Marrow Examination / methods
  • Epoetin Alfa
  • Erythropoietin / adverse effects*
  • Erythropoietin / immunology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure / blood
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure / chemically induced*
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure / diagnosis


  • Autoantibodies
  • Hemoglobins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Epoetin Alfa