Acquired Aplastic Anemia



A blood disorder that occurs when bone marrow (where red and white blood cell and platelet production occurs) is attacked by autoantibodies. This results in the body having fewer white blood cells and platelets, causing fatigue, and lowering resistance to infection. This culminates in extreme thinning of the blood leading to uncontrolled bleeding.

Severity varies from person to person, from moderately low to very low blood counts. Diagnosis is based on clinical evaluations, testing for blood cell counts, and bone marrow biopsies.

Common Symptoms

Fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, rapid/irregular heart rate, pale skin, frequent/prolonged infections, unexplained/easy bruising, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, skin rash, dizziness, headache, and fever.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and Fanconi’s anemia.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

High-dose radiation/chemotherapy, exposure to toxic chemicals, use of some antibiotics and rheumatoid arthritis medication, infections (such as hepatitis or HIV), pre-existing autoimmune disorders, and pregnancy.


  1. Article Sources
    1. The Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation. (n.d.). Aplastic Anemia. Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation.

    2. The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. (2019, June 13). Aplastic Anemia. Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

    3. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, January 11). Aplastic anemia. Mayo Clinic.,can%20develop%20at%20any%20age.

    4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Aplastic Anemia. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

    5. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2020, May 21). Aplastic Anemia. MedlinePlus.

    6. The StayWell Company, LLC. (n.d.). Articles. Cedars Sinai.