Bone Marrow Hypoplasia During Brucella Infection

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Summary:Pancytopenia, although mainly reported in adults, has also been described in children with brucellosis. However, bone marrow hypoplasia is a rare feature of the infection. An 11-year-old boy was admitted with fever, vomiting, and abdominal pain of 10 days' duration. On physical examination, pallor and high fever were detected in the absence of lymphadenopathy and hepatosplenomegaly. His hemoglobin was 8.6 g/dL, white blood cell count 1,100/mm3, neutrophil count 500/mm3, platelets 56,000/mm3, and reticulocytes 0.1%. Hypocellular bone marrow was found by aspiration, and bone marrow biopsy revealed hypocellularity. The Brucella agglutination titer was greater than 1/640. Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was prescribed. His fever subsided and pancytopenia subsequently improved. Pancytopenia associated with brucellosis is attributed to hypersplenism, hemophagocytosis, and granulomatous lesions of the bone marrow, which is usually hypercellular. Bone marrow hypoplasia is rarely reported and should be kept in mind in the etiology of aplastic anemia in a country where brucellosis is frequently encountered.

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