Intravenous immunoglobulin-induced hemolytic anemia after thoracoscopic thymectomy for myasthenia gravis.

Research paper by Hisashi H Tsukada, Rajitha R Sunkara, Dorcas Doja DD Chi, Deirdre D Keogh, Henning H Gaissert

Indexed on: 03 Jun '14Published on: 03 Jun '14Published in: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery


A 24-year-old woman underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic thymectomy for Osserman IIB myasthenia gravis (MG). In preparation for thymectomy, high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) was administered 1 week before the surgical procedure. After uneventful thoracoscopic thymectomy, the postoperative hemoglobin value decreased from 12.1 mg/dL to 8.2 mg/dL. A diagnosis of IVIG-associated hemolytic anemia was made based on a peripheral smear with numerous spherocytes, a positive direct antiglobulin test result, and increased reticulocyte count. Hemoglobin levels after IVIG administration should be monitored closely before and after elective surgical procedures to identify severe anemia. Transfusion of type-matched blood should be avoided and risk factors understood.