Survival in severe aplastic anemia (SAA) has markedly improved in the past four decades due to advances in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, immunosuppressive biologics and drugs, and supportive care. However, management of SAA patients remains challenging, both acutely in addressing the immediate consequences of pancytopenia and in the long term because of the disease's natural history and the consequences of therapy. Recent insights into pathophysiology have practical implications. We review key aspects of differential diagnosis, considerations in the choice of first and second line therapies, and the management of patients after immunosuppression, based on both a critical review of the recent literature and our large personal and research protocol experience of bone marrow failure in the Hematology Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- aplastic anemia