The following is a summary of “Hepatitis-associated Aplastic Anemia” published in the November 2022 issue of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition by Gonnot et al.

In children, 4% of cases of autoimmune hepatitis are caused by the condition known as hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia (HAAA). An episode of seronegative autoimmune hepatitis is typically followed a few days or months later by a diagnosis of aplastic anemia or full aplasia. An individual genetically prone to developing an autoimmune disease may have a deficiency in the control of the immune response to a viral trigger. 

It is essential to do diagnostic tests to evaluate and eliminate any potential alternative reasons for the symptoms of aplastic anemia or hepatitis. Steroids and azathioprine are frequently used to manage the damage to the liver; however, neither of these treatments can stop the progression of aplastic anemia. Aplastic anemia can be treated with a variety of different medicines, including anti-thymocyte globulins and cyclosporine, for example.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a possibility for treatment, however, it can only be performed on children who have a sibling who is willing to donate their cells. Researchers have proposed various criteria to explore and treat this illness, which occurs relatively infrequently. They place a significant amount of emphasis on the tight collaboration that is required to take place between hepatologists and hematologists because it is of crucial importance.