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November 1992

Transient Aplastic Crisis in Patients With Sickle Cell Disease: B19 Parvovirus Studies During a 7-Year Period

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology, State University of New York Children's Medical Center of Brooklyn (Drs Rao and Miller), and the Central Public Health Laboratory, London, England (Dr Cohen).

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(11):1328-1330. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160230086025

• Objective.  —To determine (1) the proportion of cases of transient aplastic crisis (TAC) in patients with sickle cell disease due to B19 parvovirus infection in several years, (2) longitudinally, the immune response to B19 parvovirus infection, and (3) whether patients with sickle cell disease experience recurrent or chronic B19 parvovirus infection.

Design.  —Prospective evaluation of patients with sickle cell disease and TAC to find evidence of B19 parvovirus infection and, if present, to document the pattern of serologic response with time.

Setting.  —Large urban teaching hospital.

Patients.  —Patients younger than 18 years with sickle cell disease who were admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of TAC or who developed TAC while in the hospital for other reasons. Follow-up serologic studies of B19 parvovirus infection were done in eight patients.

Measurements/Main Results.  —Serum was tested for B19 parvovirus DNA/viral particles and specific anti-B19 parvovirus IgM and IgG antibodies. B19 parvovirus DNA/viral particles were detected in 11 (21%) of 53 patients with TAC. Specific anti-B19 parvovirus IgM antibodies were detected in 34 (64%) of the 53 patients. Overall, 36 (68%) of 53 patients with TAC had evidence of acute B19 parvovirus infection as shown by the detection of B19 DNA parvovirus and/or specific anti-B19 parvovirus IgM antibodies in acute-phase serum. Follow-up serologic studies in eight patients with acute infection revealed disappearance of B19 parvovirus DNA/viral particles and anti-B19 parvovirus IgM antibodies and persistence of anti-B19 parvovirus IgG antibodies for up to 3½ years after the diagnosis of acute B19 parvovirus infection. No patient had evidence of recurrent or chronic B19 parvovirus infection.

Conclusions.  —Approximately 70% of cases of TAC in patients with sickle cell disease identified in a 7-year period were caused by acute B19 parvovirus infection. Once detected, anti-B19 parvovirus IgG antibodies remain detectable for several years. There was no evidence of chronic or recurrent B19 parvovirus infection in patients with sickle cell disease.(AJDC. 1992;146:1328-1330)

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