Life-threatening thrombocytopenia associated with acute Epstein-Barr virus infection in an older adult.
Authors: Walter RB,Hong TC,Bachli EB,
Address: Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave N, D2-373, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Journal: Ann Hematol.
Publication: 2002 Nov;81(11):672-5. Epub 2002 Oct 29.
acute Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection commonly induces hematological abnormalities, most notably atypical lymphocytosis ("infectious mononucleosis"). In addition, mild decreases in platelet counts are commonly encountered in uncomplicated cases; however, severe thrombocytopenia is exceedingly rare. Here, we describe a 58-year-old white man who presented with cervical lymphadenopathy, thrombocytopenia, and a bleeding diathesis with minimal platelet counts of 0.5 x 10(9)/l. The diagnosis of acute EBV was serologically confirmed. Because of the bleeding diathesis and the prior ingestion of aspirin, treatment was started with intravenous methylprednisolone and immunoglobulins. Platelet counts normalized within 7 days, and the patient fully recovered. Although more common in children, adolescents, and young adults, acute EBV infection may also occur in older adults, and this differential diagnosis should be considered in every patient presenting with acute thrombocytopenia. In this report we also briefly summarize the literature on EBV-associated severe thrombocytopenia.
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