This is the condition characterized by the reduced production of red blood cells in the body.Onset of this type of anemia is any age.It is an infrequent and severe condition. It can be acute or chronic with life-threatening or mild symptoms.
Aplastic anemia can be asymptomatic or presents with following clinical features;
- Problematic breathing.
- Increase and disturb heart rate.
- Skin become paled.
- Frequently occuring infections.
- Increase tendency of easy bruising.
- Rashes on skin
- Headache and dizziness.
Aplastic anemia is mainly due to hypoplastic bone marrow in which stem cells fail to produce normal quantity of red blood cells and white blood cells. This occur due to reactive immune system of the body that attacks the stem cells in the marrow.Other factors include;
- Cancer treatment through radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
- Benzene or gasoline and other type of toxic chemicals which induce aplastic anemia.
- Certain antibiotics or medications like for rheumatoid arthritis are associated with development of aplastic anemia.
- Some viral infection or autoimmune reaction could lead to full blown aplastic anemia.
- There is a link between some other diseases with aplastic anemia like the person suffering from aplastic anemia may also have proxymal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.
Following tests are usually done to diagnose;
- Blood test to see the levels of all types of blood cells like Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
- Bone marrow biopsy is done to see the number of developing blood cells in the marrow.
Main treatment options are;
- Blood transfusion to help regains normal levels of blood cells.
- Bone marrow transplantation is done so that stem cells can repopulate the cell lineages.
- For patients having autoimmune condition Immunosuppressent drugs are prescribed to help stem cells repopulate and clam the overactive immune system.
- Antiviral and antibacterial drugs and radiation and chemotherapy is sometimes done to treat.