Pure red cell aplasia

Acquired pure red cell aplasia

Acquired pure red cell aplasia (or PRCA) refers to a type of anemia affecting the precursors to red blood cells but not to white blood cells. In PRCA, the bone marrow ceases to produce red blood cells.


Pure red cell aplasia is regarded as an autoimmune disease. It may also be a manifestation of thymoma. It may also be as a result of viral infections such as HIV, herpes, parvovirus B19 (Fifth disease), or hepatitis. Association of pure red cell aplasia with T large granular lymphocyte leukemia is also well recognized, especially in China. Many cases of PRCA are considered idiopathic in that there is no discernible cause detected.

It can be associated with the administration of erythropoietin.


PRCA is considered an autoimmune disease as it will respond to immunosuppressant treatment such as ciclosporin. It has also been shown to respond to treatments with Rituxan.

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