Methyldopa-induced hemolytic anemia in a 15 year old presenting as near-syncope
Methyldopa is an antihypertensive medication which is available generically and under the trade name AldometÂ® that is widely prescribed in the adult population and infrequently used in children. Methyldopa causes an autoimmune hemolytic anemia in a small percentage of patients who take the drug. We report a case of methyldopa-induced hemolytic anemia in a 15-year-old boy who presented to the emergency department with near-syncope. The boy had been treated with intravenous methyldopa during a trauma admission seven weeks prior to presentation. Evaluation revealed a hemoglobin of three grams, 3+ Coombs' test with polyspecific anti-human globulin and monospecific IgG reagents, and a warm reacting autoantibody. Transfusion and corticosteroid therapy resulted in a complete recovery of the patient. Emergency physicians treating children must be aware of this syndrome in order to diagnose and treat it correctly. A brief review of autoimmune and drug-induced hemolytic anemias is provided.
Pediatric emergency care
Naidorf, J. S.; Kennedy, J. M.; and Becher, John W. Jr., "Methyldopa-induced hemolytic anemia in a 15 year old presenting as near-syncope" (1990). PCOM Scholarly Papers. 1386.