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APLASTIC ANEMIA

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APLASTIC ANEMIA

Aplastic anemia is a disease of the bone marrow. It happens when the bone marrow stops making enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets for the body.
Aplastic anemia can be moderate, severe or very severe. People with severe or very severe Aplastic anemia are at risk for life-threatening infections or bleeding.
With prompt and proper care, many people who have Aplastic anemia can be successfully treated. Many drugs are available which can help cure this and improve blood counts .Blood and marrow stem cell transplants may offer a cure for some people who have Aplastic anemia.

 

What causes Aplastic anemia?

Aplastic anemia is caused by destruction of the blood-forming stem cells in your bone marrow.
Most research suggests that stem cell destruction occurs because the body’s immune system attacks its own cells by mistake.
So, Aplastic anemia is generally thought to be an autoimmune disease.
About 75 out of 100 cases of acquired Aplastic anemia are idiopathic. This means they have no known cause.
Hereditary Aplastic anemia —–is passed down through the genes from parent to child. It is usually diagnosed in childhood and is much less common than acquired Aplastic anemia. People who develop hereditary Aplastic anemia may have other genetic or developmental abnormalities.
About 25 out of 100 cases of acquired Aplastic anemia can be linked to one of several causes.
These include:
Toxins, such as pesticides, arsenic, and benzene
Radiation and chemotherapy used to treat cancer
Treatments for other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
Pregnancy – sometimes, this aplastic anemia improves on its own after the woman gives birth Infectious diseases, such as hepatitis, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus (si-to-MEG-ah-lo-VI-rus), parvovirus B19, and HIV.
Sometimes, cancer from another part of the body can spread to the bone and cause Aplastic anemia.

APLASTIC ANEMIA: TREATMENT

The main goal of Aplastic anemia treatment is to increase the number of healthy cells in your blood. When your blood counts go up:
You are less likely to need blood from a donor (transfusion)
Your quality of life gets better
Your symptoms are not as bad

 

WHO NEEDS TREATMENT

People who have mild or moderate Aplastic anemia may not need treatment as long as the condition doesn’t get worse.
People who have severe Aplastic anemia need medical treatment right away to prevent complications.
People who have very severe Aplastic anemia need emergency medical care in a hospital. Very severe Aplastic anemia can be fatal if it’s not treated right away.
Removing a known cause of Aplastic anemia, such as exposure to a toxin, also may cure the condition.
THERE ARE THREE CATEGORIES OF TREATMENT FOR APLASTIC ANEMIA
The main goal of Aplastic anemia treatment is to increase the number of healthy cells in your blood. When your blood counts go up:

Supportive care is a term used for treatments that help you manage the symptoms of aplastic anemia and is not a cure.
This approach includes the use of:
Blood transfusions
Iron chelation therapy to treat iron overload
Growth factors
Antibiotics
Immunosuppressive drug therapy lowers your body’s immune response. This prevents your immune system from attacking your bone marrow, lets stem cells grow back, and raises blood counts. In acquired aplastic anemia, immunosuppressive therapy with anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) plus cyclosporine is the therapy of choice for older patients. It is also used for patients who do not have a matched stem cell donor. About 8 out of 10 patients have a positive response to this treatment. For patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA), who have had an insufficient response to immunosuppressive therapy and who are not candidates for stem cell transplant Promacta ® (Eltrombopag) is approved for use. Eltrombopag works by helping to increase production of blood cells.

Stem Cell Transplantation:

A stem cell transplant replaces damaged stem cells with healthy ones from another person (a donor) Stem cell transplants may cure aplastic anemia in people who can have this type of treatment. The transplant works best in children and young adults with severe aplastic anemia who are in good health and who have matched donors.