Aplastic crisis Clinical features

Aplastic crises predominantly affect patients under 15 years of age, although they may occur at older ages. They occur in epidemics with 3 to 4 years between peaks, and cluster in families with a 50 per cent risk of a susceptible sibling being affected within 3 weeks. The patient presents with tiredness, marked pallor, and shortage of breath. Clinical diagnosis is based on the combination of a markedly lowered hemoglobin level and absence of reticulocytes from the peripheral blood or, if reticulocytes are present, a daily marked increase consistent with the recovery phase of aplasia. Laboratory diagnosis depends on the demonstration of parvovirus-specific DNA, IgM, or IgG.

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