Erythroblastopenia or pure red cell aplasia was encountered in 186 children during an observation period of five years in the Pediatric Department in Djakarta, Indonesia. Twenty cases were of the acute type of erythroblastopenia, distinguished by a sudden drop of the hemoglobin content of the blood, reticulocytopenia, and disappearance of the erythroblasts in the bone marrow. Giant red cell precursors (giant reticular cells and proerythroblasts) appeared in the bone marrow. This condition lasted two days to two weeks.
A subacute type of erythroblastopenia with a duration of two weeks to two months was found in 25 cases. The last group consisted of 141 cases of subchronic or chronic erythroblastopenia with a duration of more than two months. Malnutrition, infections and vitamin deficiencies were the main clinical findings in these children. The authors are of the opinion that erythroblastopenia is a maturation arrest of the erythropoietic system caused by protein deficiency and/or temporary deficiencies of one or more erythrocyte maturation or stimulating factors.
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