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Aplastic Anemia

 

 
 
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Aplastic AnemiaCauses of Aplastic Anemia

Epidemiology of aplastic anemia

Aplastic Anemia is categorized by its cause and classified by its level of severity (see Aplastic Anemia Classification).

Aplastic Anemia falls into two main classifications: acquired or inherited.

Acquired Aplastic Anemia is further divided into two main categories: 1) Aplastic Anemia, which is acquired from a known source, and 2) Aplastic Anemia, which is acquired from an unknown source (also known as idiopathic).

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Inherited Aplastic Anemia is further divided into one of three types of the inherited disease. Fanconi Anemia is an inherited Aplastic Anemia.

inherited aplastic anemia

Inherited aplastic anemia is seen in Fanconi Anemia, and most often found in children of a very young age.

acquired aplastic anemia

Acquired Aplastic Anemia is also known as secondary aplastic anemia.

Acquired Aplastic Anemia can be from a known source or an unknown source. Approximately 50% of the people diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia do not know how they acquired it.

Acquired Aplastic Anemia - known source

Of those people who know where they acquired the disease, it is most often traced to insecticides, pesticides or some other toxic catalyst such as benzene found in paint thinner, or arsenic. Aplastic Anemia can also be caused by drugs such as chloramphenicol, carbamazepine, felbamate, phenytoin, quinine and phenylbutazone.

The toxicity of the catalyst causes a chemical change in the blood system that results in the aplastic disease.

Acquired Aplastic Anemia - Unknown source

Of those people who do not know where they acquired Aplastic Anemia, it is believed that they were exposed to a catalyst, but because they cannot identify it there is no substantiated research to uphold that conjecture.

Idiopathic (cannot determine cause) Aplastic Anemia is caused by an autoimmune disorder; white blood cells (or more specifically, t-cells) attack the bone marrow and kill the blood stem cells. Blood stem cells are replaced by fat deposits.

diagnosis

Unfortunately, there is no test for Aplastic Anemia. There are tests that can be conducted for its closely related diseases, Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), but Aplastic Anemia lacks the elements of both of those diseases (Aplastic Anemic doesn't have the PNH cell; also see American Cancer Society diagnosing MDS). It is therefore diagnosed by a process of elimination and ruling out Leukemia, Lymphoma, MDS and PNH.

aplastic anemia Information:

For more information about Aplastic Anemia, please consider these sites:

Aplastic Anemia Association

One Life Matters BLOG

Marrow.Org

Bone Marrow Donation

Bone Marrow Testing