American Journal of Medical Case Reports
ISSN (Print): 2374-2151 ISSN (Online): 2374-216X Website: Editor-in-chief: Samy, I. McFarlane
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American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2018, 6(2), 24-25
DOI: 10.12691/ajmcr-6-2-3
Open AccessCase Report

Severe Thrombocytopenia in a Young Patient with EBV Induced Infectious Mononucleosis: An Extremely Rare and Life-threatening Complication

Asghar Marwat1, , Hassan Mehmood1 and Muzammil Khan1

1Department of Internal Medicine, Temple University/ Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, 1086 Franklin Street, Johnstown, PA, USA, 15905

Pub. Date: March 28, 2018

Cite this paper:
Asghar Marwat, Hassan Mehmood and Muzammil Khan. Severe Thrombocytopenia in a Young Patient with EBV Induced Infectious Mononucleosis: An Extremely Rare and Life-threatening Complication. American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2018; 6(2):24-25. doi: 10.12691/ajmcr-6-2-3


Epstein-Barr virus is a widely disseminated herpes virus. Humans are the main reservoir. Acute infectious mononucleosis is one of the most common presentations of acute EBV infection. Although mild thrombocytopenia is a common complication of EBV induced infectious mononucleosis, severe thrombocytopenia with counts less than 25,000/mm3 is extremely rare and infrequently reported. We herein, present a 22-year-old Caucasian male with no past medical history who came to our hospital with complaints of fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and intermittent bleeding from his gums for the last 4 weeks. On physical examination, the patient had enlarged tonsils and cervical lymphadenopathy, however, no rashes or hepatosplenomegaly were noted. On initial Lab work the patient had a platelet count of 11,000/mm3, WBC count of 9,800 with 31% atypical Lymphocytes and a positive mono spot test. The patient also had a peripheral smear showing marked thrombocytopenia. EBV infection was further confirmed by serology including EBV-PCR. Other possible causes of thrombocytopenia including HIV and Hepatitis C were tested and found to be negative. The patient was treated with platelet transfusion and intravenous steroids. He was discharged three days later, after his platelet count improved to 36,000/mm3 on a tapering dose of steroids. Two weeks later repeat lab work revealed that his platelet count had dropped again significantly to 2000/mm3. He was readmitted and this time treated with Intravenous Immunoglobulin and intravenous steroids. The patient had dramatic improvement and his platelet count was 143,000/mm3 two days later. The patient was discharged and continued to have normal platelet counts during routine clinic follow ups few months later. Severe thrombocytopenia is a potentially life-threatening condition. Although exceptionally rare, severe thrombocytopenia can occur as a complication of EBV induced Infectious mononucleosis and should be considered by physicians as a possible differential for thrombocytopenia in the right clinical setting. Steroids and Intravenous Immunoglobulin have been used with varying success to treat this complication.

thrombocytopenia AND EBV infection

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