Ticlopidine-associated pancytopenia: implications of an acetylsalicylic acid alternative.
Ticlopidine is an antiplatelet agent that has been proven efficacious in preventing vascular events in patients with a history of vasculopathy. Neutropenia is a significant adverse effect and pancytopenia is rarely reported. A fatal case of pancytopenia associated with unmonitored use of ticlopidine is presented. A 59-year-old woman presented with severe pneumonia and profound neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count 0%). She deteriorated with development of acute respiratory distress syndrome and a marked reduction in trilineage hematopoiesis. Despite prompt marrow response to granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and cessation of ticlopidine, appropriate antibiotics and other supportive therapy, she died 17 days after admission. Hematological monitoring is imperative to identify potential complications: if discovered late, there may be a role for GM-CSF for marrow support. Ticlopidine is indicated for patients intolerant of or nonresponsive to acetylsalicylic acid therapy. As the use of ticlopidine increases, clinicians must be aware of potential life-threatening complications associated with its use and monitor appropriately.
Gill, S; Majumdar, S; Brown, NE; Armstrong, PW
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