Severe Cystic Echinococcosis-Associated Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura: A Case Report

Marc Bienz, Sami Morin-Ben Abdallah, Christina Greenaway, Jean Sebastien Pelletier, Stephen Caplan, Hans Knecht


We present a case of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), which leads to the diagnosis of severe cystic echinococcosis. Our patient presented with platelets of 5 109/L, and investigations uncovered multiple large echinococcal hepatic cysts, the largest of which measured 19.415 12 cm, and peritoneal implants. While initially refractory to prednisone and immunoglobulins, the ITP responded to dexamethasone. The echinococcosis was treated with albendazole followed by surgical resection of all lesions. Our patient's disease course has evolved favorable since his initial treatment with an isolated episode of recurrent thrombocytopenia 2 years later, and has remained in remission for the past 2 years. While a causal association between echinococcosis and ITP cannot be confirmed, this case is a reminder of the importance of remaining inquisitive for atypical potential triggers of ITP. We also present a review of the limited literature on the association of parasitic infections and ITP.

J Hematol. 2021;10(2):71-75


Immune thrombocytopenic purpura; Echinococcus; Hydatid cysts; Parasite; Thrombocytopenia

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