Progressive myeloneuropathy with symptomatic anaemia

Charlene L Rohm, Sara Acree, Louis Lovett
BMJ Case Reports 2019 December 2, 12 (12)
Hypocupremia is a rare and under-recognised cause of bone marrow dysplasia and myeloneuropathy. A 47-year-old Caucasian woman had progressive ascending peripheral neuropathy and gait ataxia over 3 months and fatigue, dyspnoea and unintentional weight loss over 8 months. She had profound macrocytic anaemia and neutropenia. Initial workup included normal serum vitamin B12 Bone marrow biopsy was suggestive of copper deficiency. Serum copper levels were later confirmed to be undetectable. The patient received oral copper repletion which resulted in complete normalisation of haematological abnormalities 16 weeks later. However, neurological deficits persisted. This case describes a delayed diagnosis of hypocupremia as initially suggested through invasive testing. Associating myeloneuropathy with cytopenia is imperative for accurate and prompt diagnosis of hypocupremia, which can be confirmed by serum analysis alone. Developing an accurate differential diagnosis can help prevent unnecessary procedures. Furthermore, initiating prompt copper repletion prevents further neurological impairment. Neurological deficits are often irreversible.

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