Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy for pure red cell aplasia related to human parvovirus b19 infection: a retrospective study of 10 patients and review of the literature

Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Apr;56(7):968-77. doi: 10.1093/cid/cis1046. Epub 2012 Dec 12.


Background: We evaluated the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy in patients with pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) related to human parvovirus B19 (HPV-B19) infection.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all HPV-B19 PRCA cases treated with IVIG between January 2000 and December 2005 in the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris hospitals and reviewed all cases of HPV-B19 PRCA cases treated with IVIG in the literature.

Results: Among our 36 patients, PRCA was confirmed in 22, including 10 with proven HPV-B19 infection. Nine patients were immunocompromised, including 4 who had undergone transplant. All patients had severe anemia (mean hemoglobin level, 5.0 ± 1.9 g/dL). Seven patients who underwent bone-marrow aspiration had positive HPV-B19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results at diagnosis. Patients received a mean of 2.7 ± 2.1 IVIG courses (1.3 ± 0.5 g/kg/course). Hemoglobin level was corrected in 9 of the 10 patients within a mean of 80 ± 54 days. The only nonresponsive patient had underlying myelodysplasia. Blood HPV-B19 PCR results were negative from 35 to 159 days after treatment. Four patients showed side effects of IVIG treatment: acute reversible renal failure (n = 2) and pulmonary edema (n = 2). Among 133 patients with HPV-B19 PRCA who received IVIG (our 10 patients and 123 from the literature), 63 had undergone solid-organ transplant and 39 had human immunodeficiency virus infection. Hemoglobin level was corrected after the first IVIG course in 124 patients (93%); disease relapsed in 42 (33.9%), at a mean of 4.3 months.

Conclusions: IVIG therapy appears to be effective in the short term in immunocompromised patients with HPV-B19 PRCA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paris
  • Parvoviridae Infections / complications*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / therapy*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / virology
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous