Aplastic anemia is a blood disorder that begins in the bone marrow where blood cells form. New blood cells start as stem cells. Through several mechanisms, the bone marrow and stem cells can be damaged, creating a deficiency in red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. Although aplastic anemia can happen to anyone at any age, it is a rare disorder. A study published by
in 2017 reports there are approximately 1.5 to seven cases of aplastic anemia per million in a year.
The bone marrow creates stem cells, which mature into red, white, and platelet cells. Aplastic anemia disrupts the process, and the stem cells don't mature. The bone marrow is usually comprised of immature stem cells, but in aplastic anemia, fat cells replace stem cells. The deficiency of healthy blood cells can cause severe symptoms and illness.
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