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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep




Parvovirus Infection Leading to Severe Anemia in an Adult Patient With HIV Disease.


Tun M M, Chowdhury T, Nway N, Noel P, Gousy N, Roy A, Htet S Y
Cureus. 2022 Sep; 14(9):e29148.
PMID: 36258998.


Individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease frequently suffer from anemia. The causes include anemia of chronic disease, vitamin B12 and iron deficiency, opportunistic infections (), HIV-related bone marrow suppression, AIDS-associated malignancies, and antiretroviral therapy (ART), specifically zidovudine. In HIV patients with advanced immunodeficiency, failure to produce neutralizing antibodies can lead to chronic parvovirus B19 (B19) infection. Normally, in persons with intact immunity, the progression of B19 is self-limited. However, in chronic B19 infection, it can lead to pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) and chronic anemia. In human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, B19-related anemia is rare and underdiagnosed. It has a great response to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy. Hence, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can significantly reduce mortality. In this article, we described the case of a 25-year-old male with HIV infection who presented with a headache. He had severe normocytic anemia with a low reticulocyte count. The workup for blood loss, hemolysis, hemoglobinopathy, and iron deficiency was negative. Because of extremely low reticulocytopenia with severe anemia, the investigations favored multiple myeloma, parvovirus infection, and bone marrow aspiration biopsy. He was tested for parvovirus B19 deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test due to insufficient seroconversion. It turned out to be positive and he was treated with IVIG therapy.