2017 Volume 56 Issue 3 Pages 160-164
Human granulocytic anaplasmosis is a rare, tick-borne infectious disease caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Herein, we report a rare case of human granulocytic anaplasmosis associated with cytopenias and clonal expansion of gamma/delta T-cells in the bone marrow. A 77-year old man presented multiple times to the emergency department complaining of muscle weakness. Complete blood count detected cytopenias and peripheral blood smear showed pseudo Pelger-Huet neutrophils. These findings prompted bone marrow evaluation with ancillary studies including flow cytometry, karyotyping and T-cell rearrangement studies. Careful examination of peripheral blood smear revealed very rare neutrophils with intracytoplasmic inclusions, suggestive of ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis. Bone marrow evaluation showed dyserythropoiesis, dysmegakaryopoiesis and prominence of hemophagocytic histiocytes. Furthermore, an increased number of T-cells was seen in the bone marrow and flow cytometry showed excess of gamma/delta T-cells, while T-cell rearrangement studies detected a T-cell clone. Serologic evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of anaplasmosis. This case nicely illustrates hematologic sequelae of infection with Anaplasma and potential diagnostic pitfalls, such as myelodysplastic syndrome and T-cell lymphoproliferative disorder. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of clonal expansion of gamma/delta T-cells associated with anaplasmosis. Pathologists should be careful and vigilant when screening peripheral blood smears, as they are often the first to raise the suspicion of anaplasmosis.