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March 11, 1974

ThrombocytopeniaA Complication of Mumps

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine (Drs. Graham, Benrey, and Brown), virology and epidemiology (Dr. Butel), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

JAMA. 1974;227(10):1162-1164. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230230038021

The mechanism of thrombocytopenia associated with mumps was investigated in a case proved by virus isolation. Although an immune mechanism for the thrombocytopenia has been postulated, platelet agglutinins, clot retraction inhibitors, complement-fixing platelet antibodies, or stimulation of platelet factor 3 availability could not be demonstrated in either the presence or absence of mumps-specific antigens. These results suggest that thrombocytopenia is not a consequence of antibodies directed against normal platelets nor against mumps antigen adsorbed to platelets. Rather, it appears that in this disorder, thrombocytopenia may result from a direct action of the virus or a viral antigen-antibody complex on platelets.