Aplastic Anemia: A Rare Blood Disorder

Topics: Bone marrow, Hematology, Red blood cell Pages: 5 (1659 words) Published: April 19, 2012
Aplastic Anemia
Aplasitc anemia is a very rare blood disorder. Sometimes, it is connected with leukemia; it could be a result from chemotherapy given to leukemia patients. In aplastic anemia, the bone marrow does not make the necessary blood cells needed in the blood; however, leukemia is when the blood cells are deformed and not working properly. Leukemia is a cancer where as aplastic anemia is not. Chemotherapy treatment for cancer can lead to the secondary condition of aplastic anemia that may cause slowing down of producing blood cells. What are the anatomical and physiological symptoms and causes for aplastic anemia? What is the diagnosis and what treatments are available for aplastic anemia? One symptom is fatigue from being anemic. Anemia is when the red blood cells are low in the blood. The red blood cells carry the oxygen from your lungs to all parts of the body (Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Inc.). This will cause fatigue when the body does not get enough oxygen. There is a little more than just low red blood count in cells in aplastic anemia. It is when the body doesn’t produce all three different blood cells that the body has: white blood cells, red blood cells, and the platelets termed pancytopenia (Wikipedia). In aplastic anemia, it is when the bone marrow stops producing or slows down in producing these new blood cells. The white ones or leukocytes are to fight infections in the body by attacking and killing bacteria and viruses (Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Inc.), so with out them patients easily catch viruses. A low white blood cell count is called neutropenia (Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Inc.). The other is the platelets; they are for blood clots. A low platelet count is called thrombocytopenia (Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Inc.). A low platelet count leads to another symptom that would be uncontrolled bleeding because the body does not have the platelets to stop the bleeding. You can also causes bruising and petechiae (Wikipedia). Some of the other symptoms include shortness of breath, headache, pallor and, ultimately tachycardia and heart failure (Lippincott 508). Bone tenderness should not be present (Mc Phee 454). The cause for aplastic anemia develops when the bone marrow is damaged or in some cases is unknown. About 75 out of 100 cases of acquired aplastic anemia are idiopathic (Aplastic Anemia MDS International Foundation, Inc.). This means they have no known cause. Sometimes, the case can be from radiation and chemotherapy treatment used for cancer. This can destroy the healthy cells in the bone marrow leading to the secondary condition. Some other causes for secondary condition of aplastic anemia are toxic chemicals and certain drugs, such as the chemical benzene that is found in gasoline, or with the use of certain drugs, including chloramphenicol[->0], carbamazepine[->1], felbamate[->2], phenytoin[->3], quinine[->4], and phenylbutazone[->5] (Wikipedia). Chloramphenicol treatment is followed by aplasia in less than 1 in 40,000 treatment courses, and carbamazepine aplasia is even more rare (Wikipedia). The medication for rheumatoid arthritis is connected to ones getting aplastic anemia; this would be called also a secondary condition when aplastic anemia appears. Likewise Lupus, an autoimmune disorder, can attack the healthy stem cells. This would cause the slowing down or stopping of making the blood cells the body needs. The rest may result from immunologic factors (unconfirmed), severe disease (especially hepatitis), viral infection (especially children), or preleukemic and neoplastic infiltration of bone marrow (Lippincott 397). Therefore, to confirm a diagnosis for aplastic anemia they first take a blood sample to see if the blood count is low. If that shows up low in all the blood cells, the next step is to take a bone marrow sample or biopsy. The bone marrow is usually taken from the...

Cited: “Aplastic Anemia.” Tabor’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. 21st ed. 2009. 116-
Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Professional Guide to Diseases. Np. 2009. 507-
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