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J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2013 Nov;23(10):809-10. doi: 11.2013/JCPSP.809810.

Postpartum aplastic anemia presenting as pancytopenia due to malarial infection.

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  • 1Student, Army Medical College, National University of Sciences and Technology, Rawalpindi.


Pancytopenia is a condition with decreased numbers of all cell lines. Aplastic anemia is a common cause although malarial infection causing lysis of RBCs may also partly mimic this condition. The infection may also damage the patient's bone marrow resulting in pancytopenia as well. We present the case of a post-partum female patient who reported with fever, body aches and shortness of breath one month after the delivery of her baby. All blood cell counts were decreased and peripheral blood smear showed malarial parasites. Anti-malarial treatment was initiated following which the fever subsided but, despite regular transfusions, the blood counts remained low. Bone marrow biopsy report revealed P. falciparum pigments along with hypocellularity characteristic of severe aplastic anemia. Consequently, bone marrow transplantation was advised as a therapeutic measure. This case report highlights the increased susceptibility of pregnant women to malaria in endemic areas and subsequent aplastic anemia.

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