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Acquired Aplastic Anemia

It is possible that the main title of the report Acquired Aplastic Anemia is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • idiopathic aplastic anemia

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Acquired aplastic anemia is a rare disorder caused by profound, almost complete bone marrow failure. Bone marrow is the spongy substance found in the center of the bones of the body, in adults mainly the spine, pelvis, and large bones of the legs. The bone marrow produces specialized cells (hematopoietic stem cells) that grow and eventually develop into red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets. In acquired aplastic anemia, an almost complete absence of hematopoietic stem cells eventually results in low levels of red and white blood cells and platelets (pancytopenia). Specific symptoms associated with acquired aplastic anemia may vary, but include fatigue, chronic infections, dizziness, weakness, headaches, and episodes of bleeding, usually in the skin and mucous membranes. Although some cases of acquired aplastic anemia occurs secondary to other disorders, researchers now believe that most cases result from a disorder of the patient's immune system, which mistakenly targets the bone marrow (autoimmunity). This is based on the response of the majority of patients to immunotherapy, whether it is ATG and cyclosporine, high-dose corticosteroids or cyclophosphamide.

Aplastic anemia is classified as severe according to blood counts. Most of the discussion that follows relates to severe aplastic anemia. Patients with more moderately decreased blood counts; may not require treatment. Furthermore, some aplastic anemia that is genetically inherited may, first manifest in adulthood, without a family history of blood disease.


Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, Inc.
100 Park Avenue, Suite 108
Rockville, MD 20850
Tel: (301)279-7202
Fax: (301)279-7205
Tel: (800)747-2820

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
Tel: (301)592-8573
Fax: (301)251-1223

Aplastic Anemia & Myelodysplasia Association of Canada
11181 Yonge Street Suite 321
Richmond Hill
Ontario, L4S 1L2
Tel: 9057800698
Fax: 9057801648
Tel: 8888400039

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute ~ Hematology Branch
10 Center Dr, Building 10-CRC
3-5140, MSC-1202
Bethesda, MD 20892-1202
Tel: (301)496-5093
Fax: (301)496-8396
Tel: (800)644-2337

Dubowitz Syndrome Support
c/o 106 Verndale Street
Warwick, RI 02889-3242
Tel: (401)737-3138

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 7/19/2012
Copyright 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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