Thrombocytopenic purpura associated with Brucellosis: Report of 2 cases and literature review

E. J. Young, A. Tarry, R. M. Genta, N. Ayden, E. Gotuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Mild hematologic abnormalities are common in the course of human brucellosis; however, they generally resolve promptly with treatment of the disease. Occasionally, thrombocytopenia is severe and can be associated with bleeding into the skin (purpura) and from mucosal sites. We describe 2 patients infected with Brucella melitensis who presented with thrombocytopenic purpura, and we review 41 additional cases from the literature. Patients ranged in age from 2 to 77 years, and both sexes were affected equally. In the majority of cases, examination of the bone marrow revealed abundant megakaryocytes. Possible mechanisms involved in thrombocytopenia include hypersplenism, reactive hemophagocytosis, and immune destruction of platelets. Recognition of this complication is essential, since hemorrhage into the central nervous system is associated with a high mortality rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-909
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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