This study will collect samples of blood, stool, bone marrow, or other tissues from patients
with hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia to investigate a possible association between
exposure to viruses and the development of aplastic anemia in these patients. Cells from the
samples obtained may be grown in the laboratory for future studies. Patients samples may be
- Study abnormalities that occur in hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia;
- Test for various viruses;
- Test immune function;
- Measure factors related to the patients disease or diseases they may be at risk for;
- Evaluate the effectiveness of current therapies, refine treatment approaches, and
identify potential new therapies;
- Identify possible measures for disease prevention;
- Identify possible genetic factors associated with hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia.
Patients 2 years of age and older with severe aplastic anemia that developed within 6 months
of an episode of hepatitis may be eligible for this study.
Participants will complete questionnaires and provide tissue samples as described below.
All patients (or another respondent for the patient) will fill out a questionnaire including
demographic information (age, gender, race, ethnic group, education level, state of
residence), current symptoms, medications, medical history, and history of possible exposures
to toxins or viruses. A second questionnaire, which includes questions related to mental
health, sexual behavior, alcohol and drug use, is optional for participants age 21 and older.
These questionnaires are designed to uncover features of hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia
and possibly reveal a common cause of the disease.
- Blood- will be collected at the time of the patient s initial evaluation or upon
enrollment into the study and possibly periodically during the study. Blood will be
drawn through a needle in an arm vein.
- Bone marrow- may be collected as part of the patient s standard medical care or
specifically for research purposes of this study. For this procedure, the skin over the
hipbone and the outer surface of the bone itself are numbed with an injection of a local
anesthesia. Then, a larger needle is inserted into the hipbone and marrow is drawn into
a syringe. Marrow cells are suctioned two to six times during the 15-minute procedure.
- Stool- will be provided by the patient.
Liver- tissue may be biopsied as part of the patient s general medical care or for NIH
patients, as part of their enrollment in a treatment protocol.
Our laboratory has a long-standing interest in viruses that affect the bone marrow,
especially those causing bone marrow failure. One specific syndrome, hepatitis-associated
aplastic anemia, suggests that the same agent is responsible for the severe and sometimes
fulminate hepatitis as well as the profound bone marrow failure. This study is designed to
collect clinical data, and samples from patients with hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia,
in order to learn more about the clinical features of the disease, as well as to collect
blood, liver, bone marrow and stool samples where possible for ongoing virological studies.
For liver and bone marrow samples, material will only be obtained when the liver or bone
marrow are biopsied for other medical indications, or during the removal of the liver at the
time of transplantation. No additional risk to the patient should result from either
- INCLUSION CRITERIA
Presumptive clinical diagnosis of hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia. That is, aplastic
anemia within 12 months of an episode of hepatitis
Age equal to or greater than 2 years old
Ability to comprehend the investigational nature of the study and provide informed consent.
Suspected cholestatic or obstructed liver disease
Current diagnosis or past history of myelodysplastic syndrome, Fanconi s anemia,
dyskeratosis congenita or other congenital forms of aplastic anemia.
Diagnosis of Diamond-Blackfan anemia or a constitutional marrow failure disease.
Underlying carcinoma, recent history of radiation or chemotherapy
Age less than 2 years old