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Definition of Aplastic anemia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Aplastic anemia: Anemia due to failure of the bone marrow to produce red and white blood cells as well as platelets. Aplastic anemia frequently occurs without a known cause. Known causes include exposure to chemicals (for example, benzene, toluene in glues, insecticides, solvents), drugs (for example, chemotherapy drugs, gold, seizure medications, antibiotics), viruses (for instance, HIV, Epstein-Barr), radiation, immune conditions (for example, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis), pregnancy, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, and inherited disorders (for example, Fanconi anemia).

Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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