Korean J Pediatr Infect Dis.  2013 Dec;20(3):178-185.

Hematologic Complication of Respiratory Virus Infection

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Wonkwang University College of Medicine, Iksan, Korea. cdy8118@wonkwang.ac.kr


Cytopenia is a common hematologic complication of viral infections. However, information regarding hematologic effects of common respiratory virus infections is scarce. This study aimed to evaluate hematologic complications and the clinical course of patients infected with common respiratory viruses.
We retrospectively analyzed 496 patients with respiratory tract infections admitted to the Department of Pediatrics, Wonkwang University Hospital from November 2011 to March 2012 using multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction to detect the presence of respiratory viruses and hematologic abnormalities.
Respiratory viruses were identified in 379 patients. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was most frequently detected (55.7%), followed by influenza A (Flu-A, 23.0%). Further, cytopenia was observed in 35.5% of RSV-infected patients, 25.0% of Flu-A-infected patients, and 34% of patients infected by other viruses. Each virus caused a decrease in 3 blood cell component values, which corresponded with cytopenia frequency. Of the 379 infected patients, 83 had anemia (9.71+/-1.09 g/dL); 46 had neutropenia (803.70+/-263.09 cells/mm3); and 23 had transient thrombocytopenia (142,434.78+/-86,835.18 cells/mm3). However, no patient required treatment. A comparison of clinical characteristics between RSV- and Flu-A-positive patients with anemia revealed that RSV-infected patients had significantly longer duration of hospitalization. RSV was detected more commonly in young neutropenic patients, who had a shorter duration of fever.
Our findings suggest that infections, particularly RSV and Flu-A, result in varying degrees of cytopenia, which usually improves without treatment and does not affect the clinical course of the infection.


Respiratory viral infection; Cytopenia; Anemia; Neutropenia; Thrombocytopenia
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