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Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric acquired aplastic anemia

Journal Title: 
International Journal of Hematology
Primary Author: 
Yoshida N
Yoshida N
Original Publication Date: 
Friday, March 3, 2023
Bone Marrow Disease(s): 

Acquired aplastic anemia (AA) in children is a rare bone marrow failure that requires several special considerations for its diagnosis and treatment compared with that in adults. The most common issue is the differential diagnosis with refractory cytopenia of childhood and inherited bone marrow failure syndromes, which is crucial for making decisions on the appropriate treatment for pediatric AA. In addition to detailed morphological evaluation, a comprehensive diagnostic work-up that includes genetic analysis using next-generation sequencing will play an increasingly important role in identifying the underlying etiology of pediatric AA. When discussing treatment strategies for children with acquired AA, the long-term sequelae and level of hematopoietic recovery that affect daily or school life should also be considered, although the overall survival rate has reached 90% after immunosuppressive therapy or hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Recent advances in HCT for pediatric patients with acquired AA have been remarkable, with the successful use of upfront bone marrow transplantation from a matched unrelated donor, unrelated cord blood transplantation or haploidentical HCT as salvage treatment, and fludarabine/melphalan-based conditioning regimens. This review discusses current clinical practices in the diagnosis and treatment of acquired AA in children based on the latest data.