Transient erythroblastopenia of childhood. Prospective study of fifty patients

Am J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1994 Nov;16(4):320-4.


Purpose: To prospectively evaluate 50 patients with transient erythroblastopenia of childhood (TEC) at a single institution in order to compare those patients presenting with reticulocytopenia (group I) with those presenting in the recovery phase with reticulocytosis (group II); to further describe the clinical course of this common pediatric hematological disorder in a large number of patients, particularly the effect on the neutrophils; and to review the available literature regarding this disorder.

Patients and methods: Fifty patients presenting to the Children's Hospital from September 1983 to September 1991 were prospectively evaluated. Those patients with a reticulocytosis and in recovery at the time of diagnosis were included and compared with those with reticulocytopenia. All patients were followed through complete recovery.

Results: Thirty-six patients were reticulocytopenic (group I) and 14 had a reticulocytosis (group II). There was a high incidence of neutropenia (64%) in both groups and the resolution of this neutropenia was variable in relation to the resolution of the anemia, with 44% having the lowest ANC before, 9% simultaneous with, and 47% after the peak reticulocyte count.

Conclusions: Our experience with a large group of patients with TEC suggests that neutropenia is an integral part of this disorder, and its recovery has no relation to the recovery of the anemia. A significant number of patients are described in the recovery phase for the first time, and this clarifies this group of patients in order to aid in their diagnosis, particularly in the differentiation from a hemolytic process. Some previously described associations of TEC are not supported in this study of a large number of patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure* / blood
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure* / diagnosis
  • Reticulocytes