Patients and Methods
Seven children of the same family with a possible variant of Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) are reported. Five were male siblings, and the other two were their cousins, one male and one female. All were products of consanguineous marriages of healthy parents. All cases occurred within one generation. Anemia was present at birth or shortly after birth. Hepatosplenomegaly was present in all. Four had short stature. Hematological findings included normochromic, normocytic, or macrocytic anemia, marked reticulocytopenia, with initial normal white blood cell and platelet count, and absent or markedly decreased erythroid precursors on bone marrow examination. All were treated initially with prednisolone; in one patient oxymetholone was added.
Three children failed to respond to the initial treatment, and also failed to respond to cyclosporin A and pulse doses of methylprednisolone. Myelofibrosis occurred in two siblings, 9 and 11 years from diagnosis. In two children the disease recurred 9 and 12 years after initial diagnosis.
Our cases point to a possible variant of DBA characterized by the presence of normochromic normocytic anemia, hepatosplenomegaly, absent skeletal malformations, and unusual long- term complications.
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