Peripheral blood dyscrasias in older patients are repeatedly seen in geriatric clinical practice; however, there is substantial lack of data about the epidemiology, possible causes and treatment options in this patient group. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are extensively used in older patients and associated with leukopenia. The primary objective of this study was the assessment of encoded cytopenia prevalence in a geriatric patient cohort and the secondary objective was the assessment of putative causes and the analysis of PPI administration in patients with cytopenia.
Retrospective evaluation of patients admitted to the geriatric department of a German urban hospital between 2010 and 2012. Electronic patient data were screened for encoded diagnosis of cytopenia according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 10. Inclusion criteria were ICD code D69.0–9 and/or D70.0–7, age ≥60 years and exclusion criteria were no ICD code D69.0–9 and/or D70.0–7 and age <60 years. Out of 9328 screened inpatients 54 patients remained for analysis. Study parameters included hemoglobin (Hb), red blood cell count (RBC), leucocytes, platelets, mean cell volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), red cell distribution width (RDW), presence of leukopenia (<4000/µl), presence of thrombocytopenia (<140,000/µl) and presence of anemia according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Substitution of blood products, medication with PPI and potential causes for dyscrasias were evaluated based on electronic patient records.
The mean age was 78.3 ± 6.5 years (27 females, 27 males), anemia was seen in 78%, leukopenia was encoded in13% and thrombocytopenia in 44.4%. In most of the patients no substitution of blood products was documented. In most of the patients (20.4%) cytopenia was attributed to either heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) or hemato-oncologic (20.4%) diseases, followed by drug association in 18.5%. In 70.8% of the study patients PPIs were administered but the indication for PPI administration remained unclear in 20.4%.
The results encourage accurate assessment of blood dyscrasias and appropriate documentation as well as indication check for PPI treatment in geriatric inpatients.