July 1982

Myelosuppression in Legionnaires' Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City.

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(7):1377-1378. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340200147027

• A patient undergoing examination for moderately severe renal insufficiency had fulminant five-lobed pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila. Her clinical course was complicated by granulocytopenia. Bone marrow aspiration showed notable inhibition of myelopoiesis, involving all stages of maturation. The presence of a serum inhibitor of granulopoiesis was demonstrated by in vitro bone marrow culture. Normal bone marrow cultured in the presence of serum from two normal control subjects yielded 69 ± 5.2 (mean ± SE) and 61 ± 5 granulocyte colonies. When the patient's serum was substituted for normal human serum only 14.3 ± 2.3 colonies were formed. Each of the drugs to which she had been exposed was tested in the in vitro system, using therapeutic concentrations, and none showed significant suppression of granulocyte colony formation. These observations indicate that legionnaires' disease was associated with a serum factor that notably inhibited the growth of granulocyte colonies in this patient.

(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:1377-1378)