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Reversal of Infection with Mycobacterium avium intracellulare by Treatment with Alpha-Interferon in a Patient with Hairy Cell Leukemia

Richard T. Maziarz, MD; Isidore Tepler, MD; Joseph H. Antin, MD; Mark A. Keroack, MD; W. Hallowell Churchill, MD; Wendy Holmes, MSN; and Joel Rappeport, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant Support: Partial support from a Clinician Scientist Award to Richard T. Maziarz, MD, from the American Heart Association; a Physician Scientist Award to Isidore Tepler, MD, from the National Institutes of Health; and a Fellowship of the Leukemia Society for Joseph H. Antin, MD.

Requests for Reprints: Richard T. Maziarz, MD, Division of Hematology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston MA 02115.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Maziarz, Tepler, Antin, Churchill, and Ms. Holmes: Division of Hematology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston MA 02115.

Dr. Keroack: Brockton/West Roxbury VA Medical Center, 1400 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132.

Dr. Rappeport: Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06510.


©1988 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(4):292-294. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-109-4-292
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A patient with debilitating hairy cell leukemia and documented Mycobacterium avium intracellular infection unresponsive to standard antituberculous therapy who was treated with alpha-interferon is described. A rapid clinical response with correction of underlying pancytopenia and eradication of the atypical mycobacteria infection was found. No deleterious effects from alpha-interferon therapy were found. The associated resolution of anergy and the sterilization of bone marrow suggest that the reversal of host cellular immune defects led to the eventual control of this patient's infection.

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