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April 1969

Pure Red Blood Cell Aplasia Associated With Chlorpropamide Therapy: Patient Summary and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Hematology, departments of medicine and pathology, Creighton University School of Medicine,; and the Department of Medicine, Omaha Veterans Administration Hospital, Omaha.

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(4):445-447. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300140091022

Acquired pure red blood cell aplasia (PRCA) in the adult is frequently associated with thymoma, and in these instances the anemia may respond to thymectomy.1 In about half the patients with PRCA, a thymoma is not present.2 In this latter group of patients, the cause of the anemia is often obscure and recovery is rare.3 The purpose of this communication is to report a patient with PRCA associated with chlorpropamide therapy in high dosage and to review the literature of PRCA associated with drugs.

Patient Summary  A 63-year-old white man who was a heavy-equipment operator consulted his family physician in late July 1967, with complaints of excessive thirst, urinary frequency, and increased appetite. Diabetes mellitus was discovered, and the patient was treated with chlorpropamide, 250 mg daily. This dosage was increased over a three-week period to a level of 1,125 mg daily in late August. On Nov