Sisam D, Sheehan J. Chronic neutropenia following gold therapy. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1990;90(1):83. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19220.127.116.11.
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We describe the first case of chronic neutropenia of 17 years' duration following gold therapy in a 53-year-old woman given a 1-g course of gold therapy in 1965 for treatment of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. Although she had a good response to the gold therapy, her originally normal leukocyte count fell to 1.2 x 10(9)/L. Over the subsequent 17 years, she required multiple hospitalizations for recurrent skin, mouth, and respiratory tract infections. Serial leukocyte counts failed to show a cyclical nature to the chronic neutropenia. Normal results of a technetium Tc 99m spleen scan and lack of increased bone marrow leukocyte precursors rendered a diagnosis of Felty's syndrome unlikely. A bone marrow biopsy specimen revealed an isolated reduction in the number of myeloid precursors, which is consistent with gold-induced bone marrow toxicity. This patient's relative freedom from serious life-threatening infections remains enigmatic, but is undoubtedly related to her ability to augment another phagocytic cell line, and the remarkable phagocytic activity of her monocytes appears to have well compensated for her neutropenia. This activity was most likely responsible for her long-term survival.
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