Aplastic Anemia

What is aplastic anemia?

Aplastic anemia is a rare but serious condition where stem cells in the bone marrow are damaged and can’t make sufficient new blood cells. Aplastic anemia symptoms can include fatigue, frequent infections, bruising and bleeding. Cases range from mild to life-threathening.

What causes aplastic anemia?

Aplastic anemia causes vary and aren’t always known, but can include radiation and chemotherapy treatments, exposure to toxins, autoimmune disorders, viral infections and use of certain prescription medications.

How is aplastic anemia treated?

Treatment of aplastic anemia will depend on the cause, severity and symptoms. Options can include blood and platelet transfusions to increase blood cell counts, medication to suppress the immune system and antibiotics to treat infections.

A bone marrow transplant from a donor match can be a successful cure for aplastic anemia, especially in younger patients. The transplant works best with a fully matched sibling donor, but for patients without this option, anyone can potentially help.

Learn more about aplastic anemia from The AA and MDS International Foundation.