Aplastic anemia: what is it, symptoms and treatment

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Aplastic anemia is a type of disorder of the bone marrow and, consequently, of the blood that is characterized by the reduction of the quantity of red blood cells, white blood cells and circulating platelets, which is, in turn, considered a square of pancytopenia. This situation can be present from birth or acquired with time, being able to use certain medications or frequent contact with chemical substances, for example.

Given that the bone marrow cannot produce functional blood cells in this condition and in adequate amounts, signs and symptoms of this type of anemia begin to appear, such as pallor, excessive tiredness, frequent infections and the appearance of dark spots on the skin without an apparent cause. .

main symptoms

The signs and symptoms of aplastic anemia arise due to the decrease in the number of circulating blood cells, including the main ones:

  • Pallor on the skin and on the mucous membranes;
  • Several episodes of infections a year;
  • Trademarks in the skin without apparent reason;
  • Large hemorrhages even in small cuts;
  • tiredness;
  • lack of air;
  • Tachycardia;
  • Hemorrhage en las encías;
  • mareo;
  • Headache;
  • Eruption in the skin.

Also, on certain occasions, renal and urinary tract alterations may also occur, these being more frequent in cases of Fanconi anemia, which is a type of congenital aplastic anemia. Read more about Fanconi anemia.

main causes

The alteration in the bone marrow that causes aplastic anemia can be congenital or acquired. In congenital aplastic anemia, the child is born with this alteration, developing the symptoms in the first years of life.

On the other hand, acquired aplastic anemia develops over a long period of time, and may be related to the use of medications, be a consequence of autoimmune diseases or viral infections, or due to frequent exposure to certain toxic substances, including the main bismuth, pesticides, insecticides, chloramphenicol, gold sales and petroleum products.

Diagnosis of aplastic anemia

The diagnosis of aplastic anemia is based on the analysis of laboratory tests, mainly on the blood count, which will indicate numbers under normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will request the performance of a myelogram, which has the objective of evaluating how the production of cells by the marrow is taking place; In addition, it is also possible to recommend the performance of a bone marrow biopsy.

In certain cases, especially when it is determined that the aplastic anemia is congenital, the doctor may request the performance of imaging tests to evaluate the urinary tract and the kidneys; in addition, you can also indicate laboratory analyzes that evaluate this apparatus, such as urea and creatinine, for example.

How is the treatment performed?

The treatment for aplastic anemia has the objective of relieving the symptoms and stimulating the bone marrow to produce enough blood cells to perform its functions.

In this way, blood transfusions can be recommended to alleviate the symptoms, since, by transfusing red blood cells and platelets, it increases the amount of oxygen that is transported by the cells. Similarly, the use of intravenous antibiotics contributes to strengthening the immune system, helping to fight infections.

It is also possible to indicate the use of drugs that help to stimulate the activity of the bone marrow and the consumption of immunosuppressive drugs, such as methylprednisolone, cyclosporine and prednisone.

Despite the existence of these treatments, the only one that is effective to cure aplastic anemia is the bone marrow transplant, in which person acquires a marrow that works perfectly, promoting the formation of blood cells in ideal areas.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

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Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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