Background: Vitamin B12 deficiency-induced thrombotic microangiopathy, known as pseudothrombotic microangiopathy, is a rare condition which resembles the clinical features of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura but requires a markedly different treatment. Most cases of vitamin B12 deficiency have only mild hematological findings, but in approximately 10% of patients life-threatening conditions have been reported. Case presentation: We report a case of a 46-year-old Moroccan man presenting with severe hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and renal failure in absence of macrocytosis, thus mimicking a genuine thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Rapid improvement of renal function observed with only hydration and transfusions of packed red blood cells and the presence of pancytopenia suggested a bone marrow deficiency associated to a hemolytic component of unclear origin. Detection of low levels of vitamin B12 and rapid restitutio ad integrum with its replacement supported the diagnosis of pseudothrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Conclusions: Diagnosis of pseudothrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura caused by vitamin B12 deficiency might be difficult. Awareness of clinicians toward this differential diagnosis might spare patients from unnecessary therapeutic plasma exchange that is burdened by morbidity and mortality.
- Hemolytic anemia
- Pseudothrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Vitamin B deficiency
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