COVID-19 vaccination associated severe immune thrombocytopenia.Exp Hematol Oncol. 2021 Jul 15; 10(1):42.EH
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has emerged as a deadliest global pandemic after its identification in December 2019 in Wuhan, China resulting in more than three million deaths worldwide. Recently FDA issued emergency authorization for three vaccines for prevention of COVID-19. Here in, we report three cases of severe immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) following COVID-19 vaccination and their clinical course.
Case #1: 53 year old male with past medical history of Crohn's disease was admitted for myalgias and diffuse petechial rash 8 days after receiving second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. A complete blood test showed a platelet count of 2 × 109/L. Patient did not have a prior history of thrombocytopenia and other causes of thrombocytopenia were ruled out by history and pertinent lab data. He received two doses of intravenous immunoglobulin and oral dexamethasone for 4 days resulting in normalization of platelet counts. Case #2: 67 year male with past medical history of chronic ITP in remission was admitted for melena 2 days after receiving his first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. A complete blood test showed a platelet count of 2 × 109/L. Physical exam showed generalized petechiae. There was no history of recent flares of ITP and patient had normal platelet counts following his splenectomy 4 years ago. He received two doses of IVIG and oral dexamethasone for 4 days with gradual improvement in platelet counts. Case #3: 59 year old female with past medical history of chronic ITP secondary to SLE was admitted for bloody diarrhea 2 days after receiving her first dose of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Physical exam was unremarkable. A complete blood test showed platelet count of 64 × 109/L which dropped to 27 × 109/L during hospital course. She received oral dexamethasone for 4 days with improvement in platelet counts.
COVID-19 vaccination induced ITP has been recently acknowledged. However, given very few cases and limited data, currently there are no guidelines for management of ITP caused by COVID-19 vaccine as well as vaccination of people with predisposing conditions.