Pancytopenia As the Initial Manifestation of Brucellosis in Children

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Karli A., Sensoy G., Albayrak C., Koken Ö., Clrakll S., Belet N., ...More

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, vol.15, no.9, pp.545-549, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/vbz.2015.1775
  • Journal Name: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.545-549
  • Keywords: Brucellosis, Children, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Pancytopenia, Severe thrombocytopenia
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: No


Presenting with severe thrombocytopenia and pancytopenia is rare in children with brucellosis, and at the beginning it can be misdiagnosed as a hematological or a viral hemorrhagic disease. The follow-ups of 52 patients diagnosed with brucellosis from January, 2008, to December, 2013, in our clinic have shown the following results. Eleven out of these 52 patients revealed the fact that they had pancytopenia at the admission phase. Anemia and leukopenia were defined as hemoglobin levels and leukocyte counts below the standard values in terms of ages, thrombocytopenia as thrombocyte counts below 150,000/mm 3 , and severe thrombocytopenia as thrombocyte counts below 20,000/mm 3 . The most frequent admission symptoms and findings of the patients with pancytopenia were fever (75%), fatigue (50%), splenomegaly (75%), and hepatomegaly (41%). Laboratory results were hemoglobin 9.3±0.96 gram/dL, white blood cell count 2226±735.9/mm 3 , and thrombocyte count 70,090±47,961/mm 3 . The standard tube agglutination test was positive for all patients, and Brucellosis spp. were isolated in the blood cultures of six (54%) patients. Three of the 11 patients had severe thrombocytopenia, and they were admitted with complaints of epistaxis, gingival bleeding, petechiae, and purpura. At the beginning, two of three cases were misdiagnosed as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), another zoonotic endemic disease in Turkey. Pancytopenia improved with treatment of brucellosis on all patients. In conclusion, brucellosis can show great similarity with hematologic and zoonotic diseases like CCHF. Brucellosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pancytopenia, treatment-resistant immune thrombocytopenia, and viral hemorrhagic disease, especially in countries where brucellosis is endemic.