Linezolid Induced Twice Pure Red Cell Aplasia in a Patient with Central Nervous System Infection after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Hematology, The 309th Hospital of PLA, Beijing, 100091, China.

2 Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province 075000, China


Linezolid (LZD), severed as the first oxazolidinone antibiotic, was active against multidrug-resistant gram-positive strains. LZD can induce thrombocytopenia, anemia and leukocytopenia. Currently, reports on pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) cases induced by LZD are relatively rare [4-7]. In this paper, we reported a patient with PRCA twice induced by LZD. A 37-year-old man was diagnosed with myelodysplatic syndrome (MDS) and underwent allo-HSCT from an unrelated donor with ABO blood type- and leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matching. After HSCT for 2 years, the patient suffered from refractory fever and headache. He was first treated with empirical antifungal agent and antibiotics for central nervous system (CNS) infection, but then changed to LZD therapy for little effect. Twenty-eight days after LZD treatment, the symptom improved significantly but the hemoglobin declined to 70 g/L and the reticulocyte level was only 0.23%. The LZD therapy was stopped and the fever and headache symptoms reoccurred 1 week latter. Then, erythropoietin (EPO) and halved dosage of LZD were used for treatment. The CNS infection and the anemia symptom relieved gradually and the level of hemoglobin and reticulocyte declined again. After blood transfusion, the half dose of LZD was sustained without anaemia recovery. In summary, patients with anemia, myelosuppressants history or potential abnormal proliferation of T cells may suffer PRCA with long term LZD treatment. The monitoring of complete blood count and reticulocyte count were necessary during LZD therapy. If the clinical condition permits, LZD dosage reduction and blood transfusion should be considered.


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