12-year-old boy with yellow tongue diagnosed with rare autoimmune disorder in Canada
According to the India Today, a 12-year-old boy with a bright yellow tongue was diagnosed with a serious and rare autoimmune disorder which led to his immune system attacking and destroying its own red blood cells.
The media outlet said according to a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the boy went to the hospital after he experienced a sore throat, dark urine, abdominal pain and pale skin for several days.
Initially, doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto determined the boy had jaundice, a condition which usually leads to yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. However, they were perplexed by the bright yellow tint on his tongue.
After running a few tests, the doctors determined the boy had anemia and was infected with EpsteinBarr virus -- a common virus that usually infects people in childhood and has also been linked with a number of autoimmune conditions.
The boy was diagnosed with cold agglutinin disease, a rare autoimmune disorder in which a person's immune system attacks and destroys its own red blood cells. While this condition is triggered by cold temperature, doctors suspect the boy contracted the disease due to an infection from EpsteinBarr virus.
Citing the US's National Institute of Health, the India Today reported cold agglutinin disease results in anemia and may also result in fast breakdown of red blood cells leading to a buildup of bilirubin, which causes jaundice.
The boy's treatment involved blood transfusion and use of oral steroids for seven weeks to reduce immune system activity.
The report said: The boy has "recovered well" after leaving the hospital and tongue colour gradually returned to normal.
Image source: nejm-indiatoday