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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 495863, 11 pages
Review Article

Drug-Induced Hematologic Syndromes

Section of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Received 10 November 2008; Accepted 14 May 2009

Academic Editor: Estella M. Matutes

Copyright © 2009 David M. Mintzer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Drugs can induce almost the entire spectrum of hematologic disorders, affecting white cells, red cells, platelets, and the coagulation system. This paper aims to emphasize the broad range of drug-induced hematological syndromes and to highlight some of the newer drugs and syndromes. Methods. Medline literature on drug-induced hematologic syndromes was reviewed. Most reports and reviews focus on individual drugs or cytopenias. Results. Drug-induced syndromes include hemolytic anemias, methemoglobinemia, red cell aplasia, sideroblastic anemia, megaloblastic anemia, polycythemia, aplastic anemia, leukocytosis, neutropenia, eosinophilia, immune thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic syndromes, hypercoagulability, hypoprothrombinemia, circulating anticoagulants, myelodysplasia, and acute leukemia. Some of the classic drugs known to cause hematologic abnormalities have been replaced by newer drugs, including biologics, accompanied by their own syndromes and unintended side effects. Conclusions. Drugs can induce toxicities spanning many hematologic syndromes, mediated by a variety of mechanisms. Physicians need to be alert to the potential for iatrogenic drug-induced hematologic complications.