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Intrathoracic extramedullary haematopoiesis complicated by massive haemothorax in alpha-thalassaemia

Abstract

Intrathoracic extramedullary haematopoiesis (EMH) is a rare entity that is usually asymptomatic. A 44 year old man with alpha-thalassaemia is described who developed dyspnoea and massive left sided haemothorax. The haemoglobin disorder was established by Hgb H staining and haemoglobin electrophoretic studies. The DNA analysis revealed it to be a case of double heterozygous terminal codon mutation with the genotype ααCS/ααT. Computed tomographic scanning and magnetic resonance imaging of the thorax showed multiple paravertebral masses which were found by thoracoscopic biopsy to be extramedullary haematopoiesis. Although no additional sclerosing pleurodesis or low dose radiation therapy was given, the lung expanded well and there has been no recurrence of haemothorax to date.

  • extramedullary haematopoiesis
  • haemothorax
  • thalassaemia
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