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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Studies on levamisole--induced agranulocytosis.

Widespread clinical trials of leavo-tetramisole (levamisole) as an immunopotentiating agent in rheumatoid arthritis, metastatic carcinoma, and immunodeficiency states have been complicated by agranulocytosis (AGC) in 2.5%-13% of patients. Other than a relationship with prolonged high dosage, very little is known regarding the pathogenesis of levamisole-induced AGC. Whereas leukoagglutination was negative, fluorochromatic microgranulocytotoxicity ( GCY) tests were positive with serum from 10 of 10 acutely neutropenic patients. The antibody was IgM, reacted with 100% of unrelated granulocytes, but not with T or B lymphocytes. Some sera also reacted with monocytes and the myeloid cell line, K-562. Tests for antigen-antibody complexes or cold autoantibodies were negative. Although clinical evidence strongly suggests a haptene (drug) mechanism, in vitro mixing experiments were also negative. An alternative choice parallels the model of aldomet-induced Coombs'-positive hemolytic anemia. Finally, GCY first became positive 2-3 mo prior to the onset of AGC on two patients, suggesting the possibility of identifying those at risk well before the onset of neutropenia.[1]


  1. Studies on levamisole--induced agranulocytosis. Thompson, J.S., Herbick, J.M., Klassen, L.W., Severson, C.D., Overlin, V.L., Blaschke, J.W., Silverman, M.A., Vogel, C.L. Blood (1980) [Pubmed]
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