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Filariasis presenting as pancytopenia in a child
  1. Anusree Krishna Mandal,
  2. Jadab Kumar Jana,
  3. Soumya Gayen and
  4. Abhay Charan Pal
  1. Pediatrics, Bankura Sammilani Medical College Bankura, Bankura, West Bengal, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anusree Krishna Mandal; anuskrish95{at}


A female child hailing from South Asia, India presented with pallor, multiple petechiae and ecchymosis. Based on the clinical picture and demography, the differentials considered were pancytopenia of nutritional origin, acute leukaemia, autoimmune and infective aetiologies. After ruling these out by respective tests, a literature review was done which revealed the possibility of filariasis especially in a patient with eosinophilia which was present in our case. A repeat peripheral blood smear study with a nocturnally drawn sample revealed multiple microfilariae and a diagnosis of filariasis was made. The patient was treated with triple drug therapy of diethylcarbamazine (6 mg/kg), ivermectin (6 µg/kg) and albendazole (400 mg) administered as a single dose. Subsequent haemograms showed improved cell counts. This along with a previous handful of case reports emphasises filariasis as one of the differentials of pancytopenia and should be kept in mind while evaluating for the same, especially in the endemic areas.

  • Infections
  • Haematology (incl blood transfusion)
  • Paediatrics

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  • Contributors AKM and JKJ collected data, drafted the initial manuscript and were actively involved in the patient care. SG and ACP reviewed and revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.