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Br J Haematol. 2000 Jan;108(1):167-75.

Clinical and laboratory evidence for a trilineage haematopoietic defect in patients with refractory Diamond-Blackfan anaemia.

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Hematology Branch, NHLBI, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-1652, USA.


Diamond-Blackfan anaemia (DBA) is a constitutional pure red cell aplasia presenting in early childhood. In some patients, neutropenia and/or thrombocytopenia have also been observed during the course of the disease. We have followed 28 patients with steroid-refractory DBA for up to 13 years with serial peripheral blood counts and bone marrow (BM) aspirates and biopsies. In 21/28 (75%) patients, moderate to severe generalized BM hypoplasia developed, with overall cellularities ranging from 0% to 30%. Marrow hypoplasia correlated with the development of neutropenia (9/21; 43%) and/or thrombocytopenia (6/21; 29%) in many patients. No patient had either cytogenetic abnormalities or progressed to acute leukaemia, although one 13-year-old developed marked marrow fibrosis and trilineage dysplasia. We used the in vitro long-term culture-initiating cell (LTC-IC) assay to quantify multilineage, primitive haematopoietic progenitors in a representative subset of these patients. LTC-IC assays showed equivalent frequencies of cobblestone area-forming cells (CAFCs) with a mean of 5.42/10(5) cells +/- 1.9 SD and 6.13/10(5) cells +/- 2.6 SD in nine patients and six normal controls respectively. The average clonogenic cell output per LTC-IC, however, was significantly lower in DBA patients (mean 2.16 +/- 1.2 SD vs. 7. 36 +/- 2.7 SD in normal controls, P = 0.0008). Our results suggest that the underlying defect in patients with severe refractory DBA may not be limited to the erythroid lineage, as was evidenced by the development of pancytopenia, bone marrow hypoplasia and reduced clonogenic cell output in LTC-IC assays.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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