[Agranulocytosis as a complication of acute infectious mononucleosis].Med Pregl 1998 Jul-Aug; 51(7-8):355-8MP
Acute infections mononucleosis is the most common clinical manifestation of primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection occurring during adolescence. It is a benign lymphoproliferative, usually self-limiting disease. Complications are relatively rare, but they may occur, especially hematological. Most common are autoimmune hematolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia, and they respond to corticoid therapy. Deuteration of white blood cells is rather rare, whereas mild neutropenia is a normal finding during the course of acute disease. On the other hand, agranulocytosis is extremely rate, and almost every case has been reported in the literature. Filgrastim--the recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) stimulates the activation, proliferation and maturation of progenitor granulocyte cells. This drug is usually applied in treatment of iatrogenic neutropenia, during chemotherapy of malignancies and in some idiopathic and cyclic neutopenias.
A female patient, 18 years of age, has been hospitalized at the Clinic of Infectious Diseases in Novi Sad on two occasions. First because of severe acute infectious mononucleosis with acute hepatitis and jaundice 10 days after onset of symptoms. Physical examination revealed severe intoxication, dehydration, icteric skin, mucosis and massive hepatosplenomegaly. The diagnosis was confirmed by ELISA IgM, EBV VCA positive and ELISA IgG EBV VCA and IgG EBVNA negative results. The patient was discharged from hospital after 24 days without complaints and with normal physical and laboratory findings. For several days she felt well, but gradually severe fatigue and malaise occurred and she became febrile again. That was the reason why she was hospitalized again, two weeks later. This time she was febrile, extremely intoxicated with general lymphadenopathy, catarrhal gingivostomatitis and massive splenomegaly. The first laboratory findings showed severe neutropenia (absolute count of granulocytes was 0.156 x 10/l, with only 12% segmented neutrophils). Mild anemia--3.05 x 10/l was also registered, while the platelet count was normal. Other biochemical analyses were normal, the Coombs' test negative, while the serological response was also normal. Bone marrow puncture was performed and normocellular bone marrow was registered, somewhere hypercellular due to hyperplasia of granulocyte progenitor cells from promyelocytes to normal maturated cells. Anemia showed megaloblastoid proliferation, while megakaryocytes were normal. High doses of corticosteroids were applied (dexamethasone 160 mg daily) and filgrastim 5 micrograms every other day. From the very beginning of therapy the patient felt better, whereas granulocytes responded with elevation as soon as 48 hours after initiation of therapy. On the sixth day the treatment was stopped because the level of granulocytes was normal and the patient has completely recovered. She was discharged from hospital 4 weeks later with mild meteorism, but normal physical and laboratory findings and mild splenomegaly registered only by ultrasonography.
During the last 10 years only several cases of severe leukopenia with acute infectious mononucleosis had been reported in literature. In all cases it was associated with some other hematological complications and it occurred in young adults without previously registered immunodeficiency. We have no knowledge about application of filgrastim in treatment of EBV-induced agranulocytosis, but the International Association for Studying Agranulocytosis and Aplastic Anemia reported that in 4% of patients Epstein-Barr virus can cause agranulocytosis even a year after the occurrence of acute disease.