Severe autoimmune hemolytic anemia in a patient with chronic hepatitis C during treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin.

Department of Medical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy.
Haematologica (Impact Factor: 5.81). 07/2006; 91(6 Suppl):ECR26.
Source: PubMed


Peginterferon (Peg-IFN) alfa in combination with ribavirin represents the gold standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C, but is associated with various side effects, especially hematological abnormalities. We report here a case of severe autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) complicated by symptomatic myocardial ischemia in a patient with chronic hepatitis C during combination therapy. The worsening hemolysis after ribavirin withdrawal and exclusion of other causes implicated Peg-IFN alfa as the cause of AIHA. Our study demonstrates that in patients without preexisting immunological abnormalities Peg-IFN can de novo induce autoimmune complications that, albeit rarely, may be life-threatening.

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