Diamond–Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a congenital red cell aplasia arising from ribosomal protein (RP) defects. Affected patients present with neonatal anemia, occasional dysmorphism, and cancer predisposition. An anemic newborn was diagnosed with DBA due to RPL5 mutation (c.473_474del, p.K158SfsX26). Refractory anemia required regular transfusions and iron chelation therapy. Pancytopenia occurred at age 16 years. Bone-marrow studies showed myelodysplasia, erythroblastosis, and clonal evolution of del(20)(q11.2q13.3). Severe anemia required transfusions. Del(20q), including the L3MBTL1 gene, is reported to be relevant to the hematological phenotype of Shwachman–Diamond syndrome. A combined defect of RPL5 and L3MBTL1 may contribute to the aberrant erythropoiesis in the present case.
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