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Extensive bone marrow necrosis associated with antiphospholipid antibodies

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      Bone marrow necrosis (BMN), defined morphologically by destruction of hematopoietic tissue, including the stroma, with preservation of the bone, is a rare syndrome. The conditions in which it is seen include sickle cell disease, acute leukemia, metastatic neoplasia, and bacterial infection, particularly when hypovolemia and septic shock are present. BMN is also associated with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) following irradiation and antineoplastic therapy. The antiphospolipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by antibodies directed against the antiphospolipid substrate. Because this substrate is prominently involved in the coagulation cascade and widely distributed on cell walls, patients present with venous or arterial thromboses, recurrent abortion, thrombocytopenia, and Coombs' positive hemolytic anemia, typically with raised anticardiolipin antibodies or a diagnostic lupus anticoagulant test. BMN does not appear to have been previously recognized in this context. We report what we believe to be the first such case and suggest that the high titers of antibodies present may have played a central role in its pathogenesis.
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