Aplastic anemia is a rare but serious blood disorder. If you have it, your bone marrow doesn't make enough new blood cells. There are different types, including Fanconi anemia. Causes include

  • Toxic substances, such as pesticides, arsenic, and benzene
  • Radiation therapy and chemotherapy for cancer
  • Certain medicines
  • Infections such as hepatitis, Epstein-Barr virus, or HIV
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Certain inherited conditions
  • Pregnancy

In many people, the cause is unknown.

Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath. It can cause heart problems such as an irregular heartbeat, an enlarged heart, and heart failure. You may also have frequent infections and bleeding.

Your doctor will diagnose aplastic anemia based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and test results. Once your doctor knows the cause and severity of the condition, he or she can create a treatment plan for you. Treatments include blood transfusions, blood and marrow stem cell transplants, and medicines.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of Aplastic Anemia

The following features are indicative of Aplastic Anemia:
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • coldness in the hands or feet
  • pale skin
  • chest pain
  • fever
  • flu-like illnesses
  • infections
  • nausea
  • skin rashes

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Common Causes of Aplastic Anemia

The following are the most common causes of Aplastic Anemia:
  • exposure to toxic chemicals
  • radiation and chemotherapy treatments
  • use of chloramphenicol drug
  • viral infections
  • autoimmune disorders
  • pregnancy

Other Causes of Aplastic Anemia

The following are the less common causes of Aplastic Anemia:
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Shwachman-Diamond syndrome
  • dyskeratosis congenita
  • Diamond-Blackfan anemia

Risk Factors for Aplastic Anemia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Aplastic Anemia:
  • high-dose radiation or chemotherapy
  • exposure to toxic chemicals
  • inherited conditions
  • blood diseases
  • autoimmune disorders
  • serious infections
  • pregnancy

Prevention of Aplastic Anemia

No, it is not possible to prevent Aplastic Anemia.
  • damaged bone marrow's stem cells

Occurrence of Aplastic Anemia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Aplastic Anemia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Rare between 10K - 50K cases

Common Age Group

Aplastic Anemia can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Aplastic Anemia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Aplastic Anemia:
  • Complete blood count: To count total number of cells in the blood
  • Reticulocyte count: To count total number of young red blood cells
  • Bone marrow tests: To check whether bone marrow is healthy and making proper blood cells
  • X-ray, Computed tomography (CT) scan, or Ultrasound imaging test: To check enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen
  • Chest X-ray: To rule out infections

Doctor for Diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Aplastic Anemia:
  • Hematologist

Complications of Aplastic Anemia if untreated

Yes, Aplastic Anemia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Aplastic Anemia is left untreated:
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Aplastic Anemia

The following procedures are used to treat Aplastic Anemia:
  • Blood transfusions: Control bleeding and relieve anemia symptoms
  • Stem cell transplant: Rebuild the bone marrow with stem cells from a donor

Self-care for Aplastic Anemia

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Aplastic Anemia:
  • Avoid contact sports: Avoid activities that may result in fall or a cut
  • Get protected from germs: Frequently wash your hands and avoid contact with sick people
  • Do rest: Take a break and rest when you need to

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Aplastic Anemia

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Aplastic Anemia:
  • Bone marrow transplantation: To treat aplastic anemia

Patient Support for Treatment of Aplastic Anemia

The following actions may help Aplastic Anemia patients:
  • Education: Learn about your disease and make treatment decisions
  • Seek support: Ask friends and family for emotional support

Time for Treatment of Aplastic Anemia

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Aplastic Anemia to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Aplastic Anemia.
Bone Marrow Diseases
Bone Marrow Transplantation

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