Causes / Risks
Aplastic anemia causes include radiation, chemotherapy, certain medications or it may occur due to autoimmune diseases.
Aplastic anemia (AA) develops when damage occurs to the
When the ability of the bone marrow to produce more cells severely weakens or dies, then enough bone marrow cells or blood cells are not produced leading to aplastic anemia.
Some factors that temporarily or permanently impair the bone marrow include:
- High-dose radiation & chemotherapy used to treat cancer can also kill healthy cells besides killing cancer cells. This can temporarily cause AA.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals. Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as those used in pesticides and insecticides, may result in the occurrence of aplastic anemia. Benzene is a toxic chemical implicated in AA formation.
- Use of certain drugs/medications such as chloramphenicol, phenylbutazone or medications containing gold, used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, can cause AA.
- Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, can compromise the BM greatly causing AA.
- Viral infection affecting the bone marrow especially those caused by the HBV, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus B-19 or HIV, can cause AA.
- Pregnancy can cause an auto immune type of AA.
- Unknown factors. In about 50% of cases AA is idiopathic.