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JYMS : Journal of Yeungnam Medical Science

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HOME > J Yeungnam Med Sci > Volume 28(1); 2011 > Article
Case Report Two Cases of Severe Pancytopenia Associated with Low-Dose Methotrexate Therapy in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Hong Ik Kim, Woo Hyun Lee, Jang Seok Oh, Hyo Rim Hong, In Hee Lee
Journal of Yeungnam Medical Science 2011;28(1):60-69
Published online: June 30, 2011
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Republic of Korea.
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Due to its efficacy and tolerability, low dose oral methotrexate(MTX) therapy has been widely used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis(RA). However, it can rarely cause serious, life-threatening hematologic toxicities, such as pancytopenia. We report here on two patients with chronic kidney disease(CKD), who developed severe pancytopenia after 5 years (cumulative dose 1,240mg) and 4 years(cumulative dose 1,320mg) of low dose MTX therapy for treatment of RA, respectively. Both patients presented with renal insufficiency, hypoalbuminemia, concurrent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and elevated mean corpuscular volume of red blood cells(RBCs), all of which are known as risk factors of MTX-induced pancytopenia. Despite receiving treatment, which included RBC and platelet transfusions, antibiotic therapy, granulocyte colony stimulating factor, and leucovorin rescue, one patient died of sepsis. Based on our case study, prompt investigation of risk factors associated with MTX toxicity is required for all patients receiving MTX therapy. MTX treatment, even at a low dose, should be discontinued in patients with advanced CKD.

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