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Baumann, Philipp; Völkl, Andreas; Bäuerle, Michael; Schmidmaier, Ralf and Oduncu, Fuat S. (2011): Aplastic Crisis as Primary Manifestation of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. In: Onkologie, No. 8-9: pp. 452-454 [PDF, 353kB]


Aplastic crisis is an unusual feature of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We report the case of a 54-year-old woman presenting with both (extravascular) Coombs-positive hemolytic anemia and laboratory findings of bone marrow hyporegeneration with concomitant severe neutropenia. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed aplastic crisis. Diagnostic work-up revealed soaring titers of autoantibodies (anti-nuclear, anti-double-stranded DNA, anti-cardiolipin-IgM, and anti-beta 2-glykoprotein-IgM antibodies), indicating a connective tissue disease as the most plausible reason for bone marrow insufficiency. As the criteria for SLE were fulfilled, we initiated an immunosuppressive therapy by steroids, which led to a rapid complete hematologic and clinical remission in our patient. In this case, we could report on one of the rare cases of SLE-induced aplastic crisis showing that this condition can be entirely reversed by immunosuppressive treatment and that SLE-induced aplastic crisis yields a good prognosis. In conclusion, in a case of aplastic crisis, physicians should be aware that SLE can be a rare cause that is accessible to specific treatment.

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