Vancomycin-induced thrombocytopaenia in a patient with severe pancreatitis

Simon P Rowland, Iain Rankin, Hemant Sheth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Vancomycin-induced thrombocytopenia is a rare side effect of a commonly used drug that may cause life-threatening disease. A 51-year-old man was treated for an episode of acute severe alcohol-induced pancreatitis complicated by development of a peripancreatic fluid collection. He developed fever of unknown origin and was treated with intravenous vancomycin and piperacillin with tazobactam. On day 6 of vancomycin therapy his platelet count dropped to 46×10(9)/L (237×10(9)/L on day 1 of treatment) and by day 8 of therapy platelets had fallen to a nadir of 9×10(9)/L. The patient at this stage displayed a florid purpuric rash and haematoma formation on attempted intravenous cannulation. A clinical diagnosis of vancomycin-induced thrombocytopaenia was made and the drug withdrawn. After 3 days a significant improvement in the platelet count was noted, rising to 56 × 10(9)/L. Immunofluorescence testing (PIFT) ruled out teicoplanin and heparin as causes of drug-induced thrombocytopenia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2013


  • Acute Disease
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Fever of Unknown Origin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis
  • Platelet Count
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Vancomycin
  • Case Reports
  • Journal Article


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