Aplastic anemia remains a diagnosis of exclusion. Our ability to reliably diagnose, and therefore exclude, a variety of inherited or acquired diseases with similar phenotypes has improved markedly. An efficient diagnostic plan is important because time from diagnosis to treatment is related to outcome regardless of the therapeutic option chosen.
HSCT remains the mainstay of therapy for those with matched sibling donors, and results have improved even further in recent years. For those without a sibling donor, the high response and overall survival rates of combined immunosuppressive therapy (IST) have proven robust. Nonetheless, incomplete response, relapse, and progression to myelodysplasia/leukemia have more clearly emerged as significant long-term issues. Improvements in outcome of alternative donor transplantation and the use of established and novel immunosuppressive agents provide multiple alternatives for treating refractory or relapsed patients. Best practices in this regard are not yet clearly established and may vary by a variety of demographic and treatment-specific factors. Regardless of the type of therapeutic approach, patients require ongoing monitoring for occurrence of disease and/or therapy-related side effects.
American Society of Hematology
Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2011; doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2011.1.76
ASH Education Book December 10, 2011 vol. 2011 no. 1 76-81