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“In situ” detection of human cytomegalovirus infection of bone marrow in a patient previously treated for B-prolymphocytic leukaemia
  1. J Vassallo,
  2. F Huguet,
  3. P Brousset
  1. Inserm U-563, “Centre de Physiopathologie de Toulouse-Purpan, Department of Oncogenesis and Signaling in Hematopoietic Cells” and Laboratory of Pathology, Hôpital Purpan, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, University of Toulouse, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor José Vassallo
 Department of Anatomic Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), PO Box 6111, CEP-13083-970, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil; jvassallo{at}

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Infection of immunosuppressed patients by human cytomegalovirus (CMV) may be responsible for a wide range of symptoms, depending on the affected organ. Iatrogenic immunosuppression is an important contributing factor secondary to organ transplantation or to treatment for haematological malignancies. In these conditions appropriate diagnosis of infection by CMV has practical relevance for the management of the patients.1 Detection of CMV in bone marrow by the pathologist has been reported as a rare event, although pancytopenia may be indicative of such infection.2–5 The purpose of this report is to present a case of a patient who had been treated for a B-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia five years before the onset of a relapse of the disease accompanied by CMV infection of bone marrow. It is intended to stress the possibility of this rare feature that can be missed by the histopathologist at routine diagnosis.


We report the case of a woman in her 70s in whom a B-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia had been diagnosed. She was successfully treated with fludarabine and Endoxan (cyclophosphamide). In 2005, five years …

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  • Funding: Financial support was provided by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de São Paulo (FAPESP, Brazil), Fundo de Apoio ao Ensino e Pesquisa (FAEP-UNICAMP, Brazil) and the University of Toulouse (France)

  • Competing interests: None declared.