Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

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Pancytopenia of Unknown Cause in Adult Patients Admitted to a Tertiary Hospital in Ethiopia: Case series

Esayas Kebede Gudina, Hiwot Amare, Kasahun Benti, Shoba Ibrahim, Gashahun Mekonnen


BACKGROUND: Over the past few years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of patients presenting with severe pancytopenia to Jimma University Hospital. We now present sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adult patients admitted with pancytopenia of unknown cause to Jimma University Hospital during the period of March 2015 to June 2016. Complete blood count and other diagnostic tests were done for all patients to uncover underlying causes.
RESULT: Out of 65 cases admitted with pancytopenia during the specified period, 40 were excluded for various reasons. The rest 25 patients were included in this review. The mean age was 32.1 years (SD=14.9); 14 were younger than 30 years of age. The mean hemoglobin level, white cell count and platelet count were 48.6 g/L (SD=1.9), 1,918 /μL (SD=879.8) and 36,200 /μL (SD=26,131) respectively. The major presenting symptoms were generalized malaise and fever. No geographic or seasonal clustering of the cases
was seen.
CONCLUSION: The number of cases with pancytopenia of unidentified cause seen at the hospital over the specified period is alarmingly high and deserves great attention. The hematologic alteration in most of the patients was found to be severe with poor clinical outcome. This calls for large scale community based investigation to uncover the root cause of the problem.
KEYWORDS: Aplastic anemia, Pancytopenia, Ethiopia, Jimma

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