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Q J Med. 1977 Oct;46(184):513-29.

Aplastic anaemia: a study of prognosis and the effect of androgen therapy.


One hundred and twenty-nine Chinese patients with aplastic anaemia, were studied. In ten it was induced by drugs, one followed hepatitis and the remainder were of unkown cause. Mortality within the first six months was 47.3 per cent. Features associated with poor prognosis included a short duration of symptoms of three months or less, neutropenia of less than 0.5 x 10(9)/l and severe thrombocytopenia. On the other hand, some preservation of erythroid activity of the bone marrow was associated with long survival. Remission occurred in 47 patients and this was associated with androgen therapy in 33. Remission was complete in 18 and partial in 29. In the latter group, persistent thrombocytopenia was the main abnormality and treatment with calusterone led to an increase in platelets although the effect was not sustained after its withdrawal. Hepatotoxicity was seen in 16.0 per cent of patients treated with androgens and this occurred even with non-17alpha-alkylated compounds. It is concluded that androgen therapy was useful and should be started as early as possible after diagnosis. Hepatic intolerance to androgens may be an indication for bone marrow transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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