Aplastic Anemia

Aplastic anemia is a rare but serious blood disorder. If you have it, your bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells. Causes include

  • Toxic substances, such as pesticides, arsenic, and benzeneIllustration of a long bone
  • 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.