What is the role of bone marrow failure in the pathophysiology of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)?

Updated: May 20, 2021
  • Author: Emmanuel C Besa, MD; Chief Editor: Sara J Grethlein, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Bone marrow failure is defined as peripheral cytopenias associated with decreased hematopoiesis. Bone marrow dysfunction is present in all patients with PNH, even when peripheral blood counts are normal and the bone marrow is hypercellular. The degree of marrow failure may vary from severe aplastic anemia to a decrease in the number of hematopoietic stem cells. Bone marrow failure is possibly due to similar destruction by complement, but the cause or causes are still poorly understood.


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