What is aplastic anemia ?

What is aplastic anemia ? what are the types of aplastic anaemia?

  • 1) Acquired aplastic anaemia
  • 2) Hereditary Aplastic Anemia OR Fanconi Anemia


Acquired aplastic anaemia

Acquired aplastic anemia is a clinical syndrome in which there is a deficiency of red cells, neutrophils, monocytes, and platelets in the blood, and fatty replacement of the marrow with a near absence of hematopoietic precursor cells. Reticulocytopenia, neutropenia, monocytopenia, and thrombocytopenia, when severe, are life-threatening because of the risk of infection and bleeding, complicated by severe anemia. Most cases occur without an evident precipitating cause and are the result of the expression of autoreactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes that suppress or destroy primitive CD34+ multipotential hematopoietic cells. The disorder also can occur after (1) prolonged high-dose exposure to certain toxic chemicals (e.g., benzene), (2) after specific viral infections (e.g., Epstein-Barr virus),  as an idiosyncratic response to certain pharmaceuticals (e.g., ticlopidine, chloramphenicol), (4) as a feature of a connective tissue or autoimmune disorder (e.g., lupus erythematosus), or,  rarely, in association with pregnancy. The final common pathway may be through cytotoxic T-cell autoreactivity, whether idiopathic or associated with an inciting agent since they all respond in a similar fashion to immunosuppressive therapy.

The differential diagnosis of acquired aplastic anemia includes the hypoplastic marrow that can accompany paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria or hypoplastic oligoblastic (myelodysplastic syndrome) or polyblastic myelogenous leukemia. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is curative in approximately 80 percent of younger patients with high-resolution human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling donors although the posttransplant period may be severely complicated by graft-versus-host disease. The disease may be significantly ameliorated or occasionally cured by immunotherapy, especially a regimen coupling antithymocyte globulin with cyclosporine.

However, after successful treatment with immunosuppressive agents, the disease may relapse or evolve into a clonal myeloid disorder, such as paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a clonal cytopenia, or oligoblastic or polyblastic myelogenous leukemia. Several uncommon inherited disorders, including Fanconi anemia, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, dyskeratosis congenita and others have as a primary manifestation aplastic hematopoiesis.


Hereditary Aplastic Anemia OR Fanconi Anemia

Fanconi anemia is the most common form of constitutional aplastic anemia and was initially described in three brothers by Fanconi in 1927. It is inherited as an autosomal recessive condition that results from defects in genes that modulate the stability of DNA.

Fanconi Anemia is an uncommon disorder and is estimated to be present in 1 in 1 million individuals. It is far more frequent in Afrikaners of European descent.This unusually high frequency has been attributed to a founder effect

What is aplastic anemia