Aplastic Anemia

Aplastic Anemia is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles

  • Aplastic anemia (AA) is a disorder of hematopoietic stem cells that usually presents with pancytopenia.
  • Most cases are acquired and idiopathic, but AA can also arise from an inherited BM failure syndrome such as Fanconi anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, and Shwachman–Diamond syndrome.
  • Approximately 20% of cases may be associated with drug or chemical exposure.
  • Approximately 10% of cases are associated with viral illnesses (e.g., viral hepatitis, Epstein–Barr virus, parvovirus, cytomegalovirus [CMV]).
  • Clonal hematopoiesis is a feature of AA, with MDS and AML developing in ∼15% of patients.

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General Principles

  • Aplastic anemia (AA) is a disorder of hematopoietic stem cells that usually presents with pancytopenia.
  • Most cases are acquired and idiopathic, but AA can also arise from an inherited BM failure syndrome such as Fanconi anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, and Shwachman–Diamond syndrome.
  • Approximately 20% of cases may be associated with drug or chemical exposure.
  • Approximately 10% of cases are associated with viral illnesses (e.g., viral hepatitis, Epstein–Barr virus, parvovirus, cytomegalovirus [CMV]).
  • Clonal hematopoiesis is a feature of AA, with MDS and AML developing in ∼15% of patients.

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