[Severe pancytopenia in old age after 12-month ACE inhibitor therapy]

Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1994 Jul 29;119(30):1029-33. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1058798.
[Article in German]


A sprightly 79-year-old woman was treated for high blood pressure with indapamide (2.5 mg/day) and the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor lisinopril (5 mg/day). About 12 months after starting treatment a blood count carried out because of a syncopal attack revealed pancytopenia (haemoglobin 3.3 g/dl, erythrocytes 1.0 x 10(6)/microliters, leucocytes 1100/microliters, platelets 8000/microliters). Until then the blood count had been unremarkable. The bone marrow showed severe hypoplasia of all three cell lines with reactive plasmocytosis. Malignant cells were not present. The patient received a total of nine units of erythrocytes and seven units of platelets. Her care included reverse barrier nursing and antibiotic treatment. She was also given high dose steroid therapy (methylprednisone up to 150 mg/day) and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (filgrastim 300 micrograms/day subcutaneously for 25 days), and after a latent period of several weeks juvenile myeloid precursors reappeared in the blood. Before discharge from hospital the results rose to subnormal levels without further transfusions (haemoglobin 8.5/dl, erythrocytes 3.1 x 10(6)/microliters, leucocytes 3900/microliters, platelets 21.000/microliters). In the bone marrow, all three cell lines were beginning to recover. The final diagnosis was incompletely reversible pancytopenia resulting from secondary aplastic anaemia during ACE inhibitor therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anemia, Aplastic / chemically induced*
  • Anemia, Aplastic / drug therapy
  • Anemia, Aplastic / therapy
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion
  • Female
  • Filgrastim
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Indapamide / therapeutic use
  • Lisinopril / administration & dosage
  • Lisinopril / adverse effects
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Platelet Transfusion
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Lisinopril
  • Indapamide
  • Filgrastim
  • Methylprednisolone