Type of disease: Rare conditions
Aplastic anemia is failure of the bone marrow to make enough blood cells. All blood cell types are affected. It can be caused by injury to blood stem cells due to exposure to certain drugs, chemotherapy, congenital disorders, drug therapy to suppress the immune system, pregnancy, radiation therapy, or toxins such as benzene or arsenic. When the cause is unknown, it is referred to as idiopathic aplastic anemia. In about half of all cases, no cause can be found. The condition can be acute or chronic. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.