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December 12, 1986

Aplastic Crisis or Erythroid Hypoplasia

Author Affiliations

Centre National de Transfusion Sanguine Paris

JAMA. 1986;256(22):3096. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380220062021

To the Editor.—  Recent letters by Rosner1 and Chorba2 raise the problem of whether "aplastic crisis" or "erythroid hypoplasia" is the appropriate term for describing the effect of infection by human parvovirus B19 in patients with chronic hemolytic anemia. In a group of 29 of our patients with chronic hemolytic anemia and parvovirus B19-linked acute red blood cell aplasia, the platelet and white blood cell count was normal in 13, while thrombocytopenia with or without leukopenia was present in 16. The underlying hemolytic disease was hereditary spherocytosis in 15 cases, thalassemia in seven cases, homozygous sickle cell anemia in six cases, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia in one case.In parvovirus B19 infection, it is possible that the arrest of leukocyte and platelet production is transient and thus may remain undetected. Consequently, even if erythrocyte production is predominantly affected,3 "aplastic crisis" may be the preferable term.Leukopenia is