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Thrombocytopenia in Homosexual Patients: Prognosis, Response to Therapy, and Prevalence of Antibody to the Retrovirus Associated with the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant support: in part by grant NHLI 13336-15 from the National Heart and Lung Institute, a grant from the Cancer Research Institute, and grant C-000534 from the New York State Department of Health Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Institute.

Presented in part 4 May 1985, at the annual meeting of the American Federation for Clinical Research, Washington, D.C. Published in abstract form in Clin Res. 1985;33:356A.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Simon Karpatkin, M.D.; New York University Medical Center, 550 First Avenue; New York, NY 10016.

New York, New York; Emoryville, California

© 1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(4):542-545. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-103-4-542
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Thirty-three homosexual patients with thrombocytopenia (mean [± SE] platelet count, 50 000 ± 7000/mm3; range, 7 to 135 000/mm3) have been followed for a mean period of 20 ± 2 months. Six patients have developed the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome 1 to 37 months after the diagnosis of thrombocytopenia. Six patients spontaneously reverted to normal platelet counts 5 to 27 months (median, 10 months) after the diagnosis of thrombocytopenia, in the absence of splenectomy and while not receiving corticosteroids. Sixteen of seventeen patients had a moderate to excellent response while on corticosteroid treatment. Ten of ten patients had an excellent response to splenectomy which has persisted. Fifteen patients did not require treatment for their thrombocytopenia. Thirteen of fourteen patients had antibody against the retrovirus associated with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, as did 4 of 12 homosexual controls without thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia in homosexuals is part of the complex related to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.





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