We report a case of pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) caused by parvovirus B19 (PVB19) infection, which was transmitted through a kidney allograft. The patient underwent a living-donor kidney transplant from his wife at the age of 60. Despite successful engraftment with a normal creatinine level, he developed severe anemia that required frequent blood transfusions 2 months after transplantation. Renal anemia was unlikely as his serum erythropoietin level was extremely high. A bone marrow aspiration test demonstrated the existence of large proerythroblasts. Although anti-PVB19 IgM antibody levels were not increased, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detected PVB19 DNA in his serum. Thus, he was diagnosed as having PRCA induced by PVB19 infection. PCR analysis of total DNA isolated from 0-hour biopsy sections showed the existence of PVB19 DNA. Furthermore, PVB19 proteins was detected on renal tubules of 0-hour allograft by immunoperoxidase staining. Thus, transmission of PVB19 through the allograft was confirmed. A single course of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy resulted in substantial improvement; however, the effect was limited, and severe anemia relapsed after 5 to 6 months. Several courses of IVIG with adjustment of immunosuppressive drugs resulted in long-term remission. Our case demonstrates that donor-transmitted PVB19 infection should be suspected in kidney transplant recipients who develop refractory anemia during the early post-operative phase.
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