Triad of thymoma, myasthenia gravis and pure red cell aplasia combined with Sjögren's syndrome.

First Department of Surgery, Fukushima Medical University, Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, Japan.
The Japanese Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 08/2004; 52(7):345-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11748-004-0068-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A 36-year-old woman complained of cough and high fever. Computed tomographic scans demonstrated a mediastinal mass. A couple of months later, she developed dryness in her eyes and mouth. Biopsy of the lip confirmed the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome. She underwent thymo-thymomectomy. Pathological findings of the mass revealed thymoma. At two months after surgery, she developed ptosis and dysphagia that were compatible with myasthenia gravis. The clinical symptoms were adequately controlled with prednisolone. At eleven months after surgery, she presented with severe anemia, which led to the diagnosis of pure red cell aplasia. The following treatment with cyclosporin caused hemoglobin concentration to rise. However, she continues to suffer from dryness of her eyes and mouth. The case is the first to be reported with Sjögren's syndrome and the triad of thymoma, myasthenia gravis and pure red cell aplasia, and is compared with previously reported cases of the three conditions.

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    ABSTRACT: Patients with primary Sjögren syndrome frequently present hematologic abnormalities, consisting mainly of immune cytopenias. Pure red cell aplasia is a very rare complication of primary Sjögren syndrome. This is the first report in the literature describing the development of pure red cell aplasia combined with autoimmune hemolytic anemia in a 74-year-old woman with primary Sjögren syndrome. In our patient, despite administration of diverse therapeutic schemes, such as corticosteroids, immunomodulating agents (intravenous immune globulin), immunosuppressive drugs (cyclophosphamide), and novel treatment options (monoclonal antibody directed against the CD20 antigen), no response was achieved. The present case suggests that the possibility of comorbid connective tissue disease should be a diagnostic consideration in patients with acquired pure red cell aplasia and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Although most of the hematologic abnormalities that occur in primary Sjögren syndrome are not clinically significant, serious and difficult-to-treat hematologic complications may also occur.
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