Sometimes curable by bone marrow transplant, but potentially fatal, aplastic anemia is characterized by decreased production of red and white blood cells and platelets (disc-shaped cells that are a key component of blood coagulation).
Treatment usually includes frequent monitoring of red blood counts, antibiotics for infections, transfusions for aplastic crises and splenic sequestration when required, and oxygen as well as respiratory support for chest syndrome.
Having a history of diseases that damage the bone marrow, such as aplastic anemia, or a history of cancers of the lymphatic system puts people at a high risk for developing acute leukemias.
Common underlying disorders include leukemia, drug toxicity, or aplastic anemia, all of which lead to decreased or defective production of platelets in the bone marrow.
Treatment for aplastic anemia may involve blood transfusions and bone marrow transplantation to replace malfunctioning cells with healthy ones.