Immunologic thrombocytopenic purpura as presenting symptom of hepatitis C infection.
Bauduer F. Marty F. Larrouy M. Ducout L.
Service d'Hematologie, Centre Hospitalier de la Cote Basque, Bayonne, France.
We report on 3 female patients with immunologic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) for whom diagnostic procedures evidenced a chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In 2 cases, a transfusion performed more than 10 years ago represented the probable way of contamination. One patient received a course of steroids, which normalized the platelet counts. Another one has been treated with repeated IV immunoglobulins, which induced partial responses of variable duration. HCV is responsible for many autoimmune manifestations and a search for this virus seems warranted for exploring patients with ITP.
Hepatitis C virus infection in acquired aplastic anemia.
Paquette RL. Kuramoto K. Tran L. Sopher G. Nimer SD. Zeldis JB.
Division of Hematology/Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095-1678, USA.
Hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia (HAAA) is an uncommon disorder that usually is not due to hepatitis A or B virus infection. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) seropositivity is infrequently observed in aplastic anemia (AA) patients who have not been extensively transfused. However, HCV seropositivity may not be detected until several weeks or months after viral infection and AA patients may exhibit defective humoral immunity. Therefore, we evaluated sera from AA patients for the presence of HCV viremia using a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based assay and several serologic assays for HCV antibodies. Serum samples from 90 AA patients who presented to the UCLA Medical Center between March 1984 and February 1990 were analyzed. Overall, 17 patients were found to have HCV viremia by RT-PCR assay, of whom 14 had a positive second-generation HCV enzyme immunoassay (EIA-2) and only 6 were EIA-1 reactive. The frequency of HCV viremia increased with the duration of time between diagnosis and sample procurement, and the number of blood products transfused prior to sampling (P = 0.026). No patient who received fewer than 20 U of blood products or who was sampled less than 20 days after diagnosis had a positive HCV RT-PCR result. Of four patients with hepatitis-associated AA (HAAA), one who was sampled 23 days after diagnosis had hepatitis C viremia and a reactive EIA-2 assay. Therefore, the high frequency of HCV viremia in this patient population is most likely due to transfusion with contaminated blood products prior to the introduction of routine blood donor screening for HCV.