Aplastic anemia is an autoimmune disease in which the body fails to produce blood cells in sufficient numbers. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow by stem cells that reside there. Aplastic anaemia causes a deficiency of all blood cell types.
Symptoms may develop slowly or suddenly. Fatigue, frequent infections, rapid heart rate and bleeding may occur.
It is more frequent in people in their teens and twenties, but is also common among the elderly
Aplastic anemia can be caused by exposure to certain chemicals, drugs, radiation, infection, immune disease
Aplastic anemia is present in up to 2% of patients with acute viral hepatitis.
More frequently parvovirus B19 is associated with aplastic crisis which involves only the red blood cells (despite the name).
Aplastic anemia involves all different cell lines.