What are the indications of aplastic anemia in patients with erythema infectiosum (fifth disease)?

Updated: Mar 06, 2020
  • Author: Glenn L Zellman, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The association of human PV-B19 with aplastic anemia is thought to be due to the affinity and cytotoxicity of the virus for erythroid progenitor cells. This complication is primarily observed in patients with underlying hemolytic anemias (eg, sickle cell disease, thalassemia) or immunodeficiency states (eg, leukemia, HIV). [14] These disease states depend on high red blood cell (RBC) production, due to shortened cell life span. The hematocrit of these patients may drop as much as 10-15% per day during acute infection. Most patients have a human PV-B19 aplastic crisis only once, and a rash following aplastic crisis is rare.


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