Pure red cell aplasia


Pure red cell aplasia (or PRCA) refers to a type of anemia affecting the precursors to red blood cells but not to white blood cells. In PRCA, the bone marrow ceases to produce red blood cells.


* Pallor * Weakness * Lethargy * Reduced level of red blood cells


Pure red cell aplasia is regarded as an autoimmune disease. It may also be a manifestation of thymoma. [1] It can be associated with pregnancy. [2] It may also be as a result of viral infections such as HIV, herpes, parvovirus B19 (Fifth disease),[3] or hepatitis. Association of pure red cell aplasia with T large granular lymphocyte leukemia is also well recognized, especially in China.[4] Many cases of PRCA are considered idiopathic in that there is no discernible cause detected. It can be associated with the administration of erythropoietin.[5]


PRCA is considered an autoimmune disease as it will respond to immunosuppressant treatment such as ciclosporin in many patients,[6] though this approach is not without risk.[7] It has also been shown to respond to treatments with Rituxan.