Pure red cell aplasia associated with hepatitis C infection

Am J Med Sci. 1997 Aug;314(2):113-7. doi: 10.1097/00000441-199708000-00013.


We report the case of a 34-year-old woman with recurrent pure red cell aplasia and evidence of hepatitis B and C infection. Review of the English literature identified 19 prior cases in which pure red cell aplasia was associated with hepatitis. This case is the first in which serologic evidence of hepatitis C infection was documented. This patient also had porphyria cutanea tarda and marked hepatic siderosis but no active hepatitis or cirrhosis. Treatment with cyclophosphamide and prednisone produced complete remission of the pure red cell aplasia. Erythroid colony formation (colony-forming unit-erythroid and erythroid burst-forming unit) was reduced in cultures of bone marrow obtained during relapse but was normal in remission marrow. However, addition of the patient serum, whether collected during relapse or remission, inhibited erythroid colony formation by her bone marrow. These observations, and the known extrahepatic immunologic manifestations of hepatitis C infection, suggest that the pure red cell aplasia occurred because of autoimmune mechanism provoked by the infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow / physiopathology*
  • Erythroid Precursor Cells
  • Erythropoiesis*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Hepatitis C / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Recurrence
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure / etiology
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure / physiopathology*