We report a case of pure red cell aplasia (PRCA), which was initially suspected as a result of bone marrow involvement of diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Persistent anemia without an obvious cause was observed in a 47-yr-old man diagnosed with relapsed diffuse large B cell lymphoma. The bone marrow study showed only erythroid hypoplasia without the evidence of bone marrow involvement with lymphoma cells, thus PRCA was suggested. However, parvovirus infection was excluded as a potential cause of PRCA because of negative IgM anti-parvovirus B19 antibody and negative parvovirus PCR in the serum. Latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection of bone marrow was suggested by in situ hybridization with EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER) that showed a strong positive expression in bone marrow cells. Thus, PRCA was thought to be associated with latent EBV infection in bone marrow cells. Although the finding of unexplained anemia is a possible predictor of bone marrow involvement with lymphoma cells, PRCA as a result of a viral infection including EBV should be considered in lymphoma patients. This is the first report of the occurrence of PRCA associated with latent EBV infection in a patient with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
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