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J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2005 Feb;27(2):97-9.

Peripheral blood and marrow findings in disseminated bacille Calmette-Guerin infection.

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Department of Pathology, Shiraz Medical School, Shiraz, Iran.


The authors describe an unusual case of a disseminated bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) infection in a 3-month-old girl who presented with a huge hepatosplenomegaly, fever, and pancytopenia. Clinically, an infantile kala-azar or lymphoma/leukemia was suspected. However, after thorough clinical and paraclinical investigations, the case was diagnosed as a disseminated BCG infection. The child died 2 weeks after starting antituberculosis treatment. Autopsy revealed diffuse histiocytic infiltration in the liver, spleen, and mesenteric lymph nodes, which were loaded with acid-fast bacilli. Three interesting findings were noticed in this case: circulating monocytes in the peripheral blood were loaded with ghost acid-fast bacilli; bone marrow smears revealed numerous Gaucher cell-like macrophages loaded with negative images of Mycobacterium tuberculi; and there was extensive marrow necrosis. These findings have not been previously reported in the literature.

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