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Int J Lab Hematol. 2016 Dec;38(6):694-702. doi: 10.1111/ijlh.12559. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Spectrum of bone marrow morphologic findings in hepatitis C patients with and without prior liver transplantation.

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Department of Lab Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA.



Cytopenia is a common hematologic finding in patients with HCV infection. Only a few studies have addressed bone marrow (BM) morphologic findings in these patients. No systemic study has been performed in these patients with liver transplantation (LT).


We retrospectively examined BMs in 49 hepatitis C patients with and without prior LT (n = 19 and n = 30).


Among the patients with an available complete blood count (n = 46), the majority of them presented with cytopenia involving one or multiple cell lineages including unicytopenia (13%, n = 6), bicytopenia (31%, n = 14), and pancytopenia (43%, n = 20). Examination of the BM revealed a wide spectrum of morphologic findings ranging from benign reactive processes to overt malignant processes which included myeloid, lymphoid, and plasma cell neoplasms. The severity of cytopenia was not correlated with cirrhosis or antiviral therapy. However, the severity of cytopenia was partly correlated with splenomegaly or LT (P < 0.05).


Cytopenia is a common finding in hepatitis C patients. Hypersplenism or LT has an adverse impact on some blood cell counts. Lastly, hepatitis C patients present with a wide spectrum of BM findings including malignant neoplasms, which indicates a diagnostic value of BM examination in these patients.


Hepatitis C infection; bone marrow; cytopenia; hypersplenism; liver transplantation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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