An increased HLA DR2 frequency is seen in aplastic anemia patients

Stephen D. Nimer, Priscilla Ireland, Azin Meshkinpour, Margaret Frane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The underlying etiology of aplastic anemia is unknown in the majority of patients, although medications, chemical exposure, or viral infections can be implicated in some. Genetic susceptibility to a variety of diseases has been shown and it has recently been suggested that aplastic anemia is more common in individuals who are HLA DR2+ than in the general population. To examine this question, we retrospectively analyzed the results of HLA-DR typing in 75 aplastic anemia patients who received antithymocyte globulin (ATG) therapy or an HLA-matched sibling bone marrow transplant at UCLA between 1978 and 1989. Thirty-one patients were DR2+, a 1.9-fold higher incidence than the expected number of 16.6 patients (P < .0005). Of the 37 patients who received ATG, 33 were evaluable for a response; 14 patients had either a complete (4 patients) or partial (10 patients) response, for an overall response rate of 42.4%. Of the 14 DR2+ patients who received ATG, 7 responded, for a 50% response rate, which is not significantly higher than the response rate for the DR2- patients (7 of 19 [36.8%]; P = .50). The median survival of patients who are DR2+ was slightly, but not significantly, longer than that of the DR2- patients in the ATG group (P = .19). Although the incidence of HLA DR2 was clearly increased in these patients with aplastic anemia, response rates to ATG were not significantly different in the DR2+ and DR2- patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-927
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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