Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy for Pure Red Cell Aplasia Related to Human Parvovirus B19 Infection: A Retrospective Study of 10 Patients and Review of the Literature

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Background. We evaluated the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy in patients with pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) related to human parvovirus B19 (HPV-B19) infection.

Methods. We retrospectively reviewed all HPV-B19 PRCA cases treated with IVIG between January 2000 and December 2005 in the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris hospitals and reviewed all cases of HPV-B19 PRCA cases treated with IVIG in the literature.

Results. Among our 36 patients, PRCA was confirmed in 22, including 10 with proven HPV-B19 infection. Nine patients were immunocompromised, including 4 who had undergone transplant. All patients had severe anemia (mean hemoglobin level, 5.0 ± 1.9 g/dL). Seven patients who underwent bone-marrow aspiration had positive HPV-B19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results at diagnosis. Patients received a mean of 2.7 ± 2.1 IVIG courses (1.3 ± 0.5 g/kg/course). Hemoglobin level was corrected in 9 of the 10 patients within a mean of 80 ± 54 days. The only nonresponsive patient had underlying myelodysplasia. Blood HPV-B19 PCR results were negative from 35 to 159 days after treatment. Four patients showed side effects of IVIG treatment: acute reversible renal failure (n = 2) and pulmonary edema (n = 2). Among 133 patients with HPV-B19 PRCA who received IVIG (our 10 patients and 123 from the literature), 63 had undergone solid-organ transplant and 39 had human immunodeficiency virus infection. Hemoglobin level was corrected after the first IVIG course in 124 patients (93%); disease relapsed in 42 (33.9%), at a mean of 4.3 months.

Conclusions. IVIG therapy appears to be effective in the short term in immunocompromised patients with HPV-B19 PRCA.

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