What is aplastic anemia?

Updated: Jan 29, 2021
  • Author: Sameer Bakhshi, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Aplastic anemia is a syndrome of bone marrow failure characterized by peripheral pancytopenia and marrow hypoplasia (see the image below). Although the anemia is often normocytic, mild macrocytosis can also be observed in association with stress erythropoiesis and elevated fetal hemoglobin levels.

Aplastic anemia. Low-power view of hematoxylin-eos Aplastic anemia. Low-power view of hematoxylin-eosin–stained bone marrow showing hypocellularity, with increased adipose tissue and decreased hematopoietic cells in the marrow space.

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