What is necessary to identify the etiologic agent for aplastic anemia?

Updated: Jan 29, 2021
  • Author: Sameer Bakhshi, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Most cases of aplastic anemia are idiopathic, [5] and the search for an etiologic agent is often unproductive. Nevertheless, obtain an appropriately detailed work history, with emphasis on solvent exposure, as well as a family, environmental, and infectious disease history.

In the absence of obvious phenotypic features, the presentation of a patient with an inherited marrow-failure syndrome is subtle, and a thorough family history may first suggest the condition, as well as potentially identify rarer inherited marrow-failure syndromes.

With regard to environmental agents, the time course of aplastic anemia and exposure to the offending agent varies greatly, and only rarely is an environmental etiology identified.


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