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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Apr;56(4):661-3. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22814. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Ehrlichia-induced hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in two children.

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Thomas Jefferson University Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Two children presented with a history of fever and rash. Lab values revealed pancytopenia, elevated ferritin, coagulopathy, and elevated triglycerides. Both children quickly developed respiratory distress and hypotension requiring admission to the ICU. Bone marrow biopsies revealed hemophagocytosis. Studies for Ehrlichia returned positive. The patients were started on doxycycline and treated for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Each made a full recovery. In both patients, testing for MUNC and perforin genes were found to have no mutation. These two cases demonstrate the importance of considering Ehrlichiosis as a possible trigger of HLH.

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