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Open Access Case Report

Human parvovirus B19-induced aplastic crisis in an adult patient with hereditary spherocytosis: a case report and review of the literature

Yujin Kobayashi12*, Yoshihiro Hatta1, Yusaku Ishiwatari2, Hitoshi Kanno3 and Masami Takei1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Hematology and Rheumatology, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi-Kamicho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan

2 Division of Internal Medicine, Itabashi Medical Association Hospital, 3-12-6 Takashimadaira, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 175-0082, Japan

3 Department of Transfusion Medicine and Cell Processing, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, 8-1 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8666, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2014, 7:137  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-137

Published: 11 March 2014



Although there are several case reports of human parvovirus B19 infection in patients with hereditary spherocytosis, no systematic reviews of adult patients with hereditary spherocytosis with human parvovirus B19 infection have been published as clinical case reports. In this study, we report a case of aplastic crisis due to human parvovirus B19 infection in an adult patient with hereditary spherocytosis.

Case presentation

A 33-year-old woman with hereditary spherocytosis and gallstones was admitted because of rapid progress in marked anemia and fever. Although empiric antibiotic therapy was prescribed, her clinical symptoms and liver function test worsened. Because the anti-human parvovirus B19 antibody and deoxyribonucleic acid levels assessed by polymerase chain reaction were positive, the patient was diagnosed with aplastic crisis due to the human parvovirus B19 infection.


We collected and reviewed several case reports of patients with hereditary spherocytosis aged > 18 years with human parvovirus B19 infection between 1984 and 2010. A total of 19 reports with 22 cases [median age, 28 years (range, 18–43 range); male: female ratio, 6:16], including the present case were identified. The male-to-female ratio of 6:16 implied that younger females were predominantly affected. Although fever and abdominal symptoms were common initial symptoms, liver dysfunction or skin eruptions were less commonly documented. Anti-human parvovirus B19 antibody or deoxyribonucleic acid levels assessed by polymerase chain reaction was commonly used to diagnose human parvovirus B19 infection and may be useful to distinguish human parvovirus B19 infection from other abdominal infection in patients with hereditary spherocytosis.

Hereditary spherocytosis; Human parvovirus B19; Aplastic crisis