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Congenital Hypoplastic Anemia

Congenital Hypoplastic Anemia

What is aplastic anemia? — Aplastic anemia is a condition that happens when a person has too few blood cells. There are 3 different types of blood cells:
Red blood cells – These cells carry oxygen to your body.
White blood cells – These cells fight infections.
Platelets – Platelets help clots form so that you stop bleeding after you cut or are injured.
Blood cells are made in the center of your bones, in a part called the bone marrow. Aplastic anemia happens when your body stops making enough of all 3 types of cells at the same time.
What causes aplastic anemia? — Aplastic anemia is caused by damage to your bone marrow. Some people are born with damaged bone marrow. In older children or adults, many things can damage bone marrow, including:
Certain medicines
Certain chemicals
Infections from certain viruses
Problems with your body's infection-fighting system (also called the "immune system")
But for many people, doctors don't know the cause of aplastic anemia.
What are the symptoms of aplastic anemia? — Some symptoms are the same as in other types of anemia. They include:
Pale skin
Feeling very tired
A fast heartbeat
Trouble breathing
Headache and muscle pains
People with aplastic anemia might also:
Get infections often
Have more bruising or bleeding than normal
Is there a test for aplastic anemia? — Yes. Tests include:
Blood tests, including a "complete blood count" (also called a "CBC")
Bone marrow biopsy – For this test, a doctor will take a very small sample of the bone marrow. Then another doctor will look at the cells under a microscope.
If your doctor thinks a genetic condition might be causing your aplastic anemia, he or she might do other tests, too.
How is aplastic anemia treated? — The treatment depends on the cause of your aplastic anemia. Treatment can include:
Stopping medicines that caused the problem
Staying away from toxic chemicals
Medicines – These can include:
•Antibiotics and antiviral medicines
•Medicines that reduce the activity of your body's infection-fighting system (called "immunosuppressive" medicines)
Transfusion of red blood cells or platelets – During a transfusion, you will get blood that has been donated by someone else. The donated red blood cells or platelets go into your vein through a thin tube called an "IV."
Doctors try to avoid giving one person a lot of transfusions. They also try not to give blood or platelets donated from family members who might donate bone marrow later. That's because doing these things can make a bone marrow transplant work less well.
Bone marrow transplant (also called a "stem cell transplant") – This procedure replaces abnormal or missing cells in the bone marrow with healthy cells from a donor. These cells are given through an "IV."
All topics are updated as new evidence becomes available and our peer review process is complete.
This topic retrieved from UpToDate on: Mar 30, 2020.
Topic 82989 Version 9.0
Release: 28.2.2 - C28.105
© 2020 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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