Pure red cell aplasia caused by pegylated interferon-α-2a plus ribavirin in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C

World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Apr 28;17(16):2155-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i16.2155.


Pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) is a rare hematological disorder which is characterized by severe anemia, reticulocytopenia and almost complete absence of erythroid precursors in bone marrow. The pathophysiology of PRCA may be congenital or acquired. To our knowledge, there is only one case report in the English literature of PRCA after pegylated interferon combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C. We report a second case of PRCA after pegylated interferon combination treatment for chronic hepatitis C. The diagnosis of PRCA was confirmed by the typical findings of bone marrow biopsy. The possible etiologies of our case are also discussed in this paper.

Keywords: Chronic hepatitis C; Pegylated interferon-α-2a; Pure red cell aplasia; Ribavirin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents* / adverse effects
  • Antiviral Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / adverse effects
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha* / adverse effects
  • Interferon-alpha* / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Polyethylene Glycols* / adverse effects
  • Polyethylene Glycols* / therapeutic use
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure / etiology*
  • Ribavirin* / adverse effects
  • Ribavirin* / therapeutic use


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ribavirin
  • peginterferon alfa-2a