Pure red cell aplasia has been reported to be associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. It has been proposed that this complication may be a result of T-cell populations that suppress erythropoiesis. It has been postulated that antithymocyte globulin might reverse this abnormality by eliminating the population of suppressor T cells responsible for this inhibition. We treated a 74-year-old man who had B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and pure red cell aplasia that was refractory to cytotoxic and corticosteroid therapy with equine antithymocyte globulin and methylprednisolone sodium succinate. This therapy resulted in a durable complete remission of both the chronic lymphocytic leukemia and the pure red cell aplasia and was associated with normalization of helper/suppressor T-cell ratios in the bone marrow. Antithymocyte globulin should be investigated further as a therapeutic modality for patients with pure red cell aplasia associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Radosevich CA, Gordon LI, Weil SC, Marder RJ, Rosen ST. Complete Resolution of Pure Red Cell Aplasia in a Patient With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Following Antithymocyte Globulin Therapy. JAMA. 1988;259(5):723–725. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720050059024
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