A rare bone marrow failure disease caused by low blood cell counts.
A type of therapy
An antibody based therapy that is aimed at Lymphocytes (A type of white blood cell and key part of the immune cell that attacks the stem cells in the bone marrow). This therapy is commonly used as part of the preparatory treatment before the stem cell transplant.
A deficiency in the number or quality of red blood cells in your body.
You have anaemia when you don’t have enough haemoglobin (found in red blood cells) in your blood. It can mean that your muscles don’t get as much energy as they need, so you may feel tired or short of breath.
A number of drugs that can be used to help fight/stop fungal infections. Examples of these drugs are amphotericin, posaconazole, fluconazole, voriconazole and nystatin.
ATG is a purified serum that suppresses the immune system to allow the bone marrow time to recover. It is produced by injecting animals (horse or rabbit) with white blood cells called lymphocytes. The animal then makes antibodies which are collected and purified to produce globulin.
ATG can either be used ahead of a stem cell transplant (rabbit) or with ciclosporin as a stand-alone treatment to let the bone marrow recover.
Find out more about ATG here.
Cells within your blood that can do different jobs.
Blood cells are cells that circulate in the blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
A blood test
This is a blood test that counts the number and type of cells in your blood.
A material in your bones
Bone marrow is the spongy material inside your long bones where blood cells are made.
A small sample of bone marrow taken for examination
A small bit of bone marrow that is taken under local anaesthetic from either the hip bone or breast bone. The sample is then examined by microscope for abnormalities in the young blood cells.
Bone marrow biopsy and trephine sample
A small sample of bone marrow tissue is taken under local or general anaesthetic from either the hip or breast bone for examination. For AA a bone marrow biopsy is needed to confirm the diagnosis.
A curative treatment for aplastic anaemia
This is a type of treatment for bone marrow failure diseases such as aplastic anaemia.
The patient is given drugs such as chemo-therapy and/or ATG before the transplant to weaken the immune system, thus allowing the bone marrow to accept donor stem cells. The healthy stem cells are transfused into the patient. This is the only treatment used in the cure of severe or very severe aplastic anaemia, but it is the most invasive.
A temporary thin tube
A temporary thin tube put into the vein for the giving of fluids or intravenous drugs, or for taking of blood samples.
A central catheter/line
A central venous catheter, more commonly called a central line or HICKMAN line is a small flexible plastic tube put into the large vein somewhere above the heart. This is used for giving fluids/drugs or for taking blood samples.
An immunosuppressant drug
An immunosuppressant medication given to reduce the problems that your immune system is causing to your bone marrow and allowing it time to recover and start making cells normally again.
Tacrolimus is a similar drug used for the same reasons. Sometimes called cyclosporin (more usual in America.)
Find out more about ciclosporin here.
Often your main point of contact
A CNS is a highly qualified nurse who specialises in a particular area of healthcare. Your CNS is often your main point of contact for information and advice within your healthcare team.
Umbilical cord blood
Blood from the umbilical cord taken at the time of birth. This source of blood is very high in stem cells and can be used as a stem cell source for a stem cell transplant.
A reduction in the number of mature blood cells
There are several types of cytopenia depending on what type of blood cells are depleted:
A type of curative therapy
Treatment with the potential of restoring the bone marrow function so that patients can become transfusion-free, at less risk of infection/bleeding and live a more normal lifestyle.
A type of drug used as part of treatment for aplastic anaemia
A drug to help stimulate platelets to grow in the bone marrow.
A common symptom or side effect
Fatigue describes a feeling of extreme tiredness which doesn’t go away after rest or sleep. It may be caused by the Aplastic Anaemia itself or it might be a side effect of treatment.
Granulocyte colony stimulating factor
A drug designed to help white blood cell production.
A clinical speciality
Haematology is the study of blood diseases.
Otherwise known as the 'Hickman line'
Hickman is a type of central line or central venous catheter used for the giving of drugs or taking of blood.
A term used to describe poorly functioning bone marrow
Bone marrow with very low numbers of young blood cells.