Anemia - idiopathic aplastic
Idiopathic aplastic anemia is a condition in which the bone marrow fails to properly make blood cells. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue in the center of bones.
Aplastic anemia results from injury to the blood stem cells, immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of other blood cells types. The injury causes a decrease in the number of every type of blood cell in the body -- red cells, white cells, and platelets. Low numbers of red cells, white cells, and platelets is a condition called pancytopenia.
Idiopathic means the cause is unknown. However, idiopathic aplastic anemia is thought to occur when the body's immune system mistakenly destroys healthy cells. This is called an autoimmune disorder.
Aplastic anemia may also be caused by certain medical conditions (such as pregnancy or lupus) or exposure to some toxins or drugs (including chemotherapy). See: Secondary (acquired) aplastic anemia
In some cases, aplastic anemia is associated with another blood disorder called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).
Castro-Malaspina H, O'Reilly R. Aplastic anemia and related disorders. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 171.
Young NS, Maciejewski JP. Aplastic anemia. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Shattil SJ, et al, eds. Hoffman: Hematology, Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 29.
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