Background/Aims: Antibodies against carbonic anhydrase (CA) have been detected in patients with an aplastic anemia (AA)-like syndrome after autologous stem cell transplantation. Methods: We analyzed sera of 53 bona fide AA patients before and after treatment with anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) or bone marrow transplantation for the presence of anti-CA antibodies. Results: Anti-CA antibodies were detected in 20 patients (38%) and were associated with older age at diagnosis of AA. Antibody-positive patients showed poor response to ATG treatment (complete response 14%) and inferior long-term survival (36% at 10 years), when compared to antibody-negative patients (complete response and 10-year survival both 64%). Two thirds of patients with antibodies at diagnosis of AA became antibody negative after treatment with ATG. Clearance of the antibody did not appear to be associated with hematological improvement. Conclusion: Antibodies against CA are detected frequently at diagnosis of AA, and their presence identifies a subset of patients with poor response to immunosuppressive treatment.
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