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Virol J. 2011 Feb 28;8:87. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-8-87.

Hepatitis associated aplastic anemia: a review.

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Division of Molecular Biology, National Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), University of the Punjab, 87 West Canal Bank Road, Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore 53700, Pakistan.


Hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia (HAAA) is an uncommon but distinct variant of aplastic anemia in which pancytopenia appears two to three months after an acute attack of hepatitis. HAAA occurs most frequently in young male children and is lethal if leave untreated. The etiology of this syndrome is proposed to be attributed to various hepatitis and non hepatitis viruses. Several hepatitis viruses such as HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV, HEV and HGV have been associated with this set of symptoms. Viruses other than the hepatitis viruses such as parvovirus B19, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein bar virus, Transfusion Transmitted virus (TTV) and non-A-E hepatitis virus (unknown viruses) has also been documented to develop the syndrome. Considerable evidences including the clinical features, severe imbalance of the T cell immune system and effective response to immunosuppressive therapy strongly present HAAA as an immune mediated mechanism. However, no association of HAAA has been found with blood transfusions, drugs and toxins. Besides hepatitis and non hepatitis viruses and immunopathogenesis phenomenon as causative agents of the disorder, telomerase mutation, a genetic factor has also been predisposed for the development of aplastic anemia. Diagnosis includes clinical manifestations, blood profiling, viral serological markers testing, immune functioning and bone marrow hypocellularity examination. Patients presenting the features of HAAA have been mostly treated with bone marrow or hematopoietic cell transplantation from HLA matched donor, and if not available then by immunosuppressive therapy. New therapeutic approaches involve the administration of steroids especially the glucocorticoids to augment the immunosuppressive therapy response. Pancytopenia following an episode of acute hepatitis response better to hematopoietic cell transplantation than immunosuppressive therapy.

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