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aplastic anaemia

A rare disorder characterised by failure of the bone marrow to produce blood cells, as opposed to leukaemia where cells are produced but do not mature. It may occur as an inherited condition (see Fanconi’s anaemia) or, more often, the disease develops in later life, the cause of which may or may not be known. It leads to a severe shortage of all types of blood cells, causing tiredness, susceptibility to infection and serious problems with bleeding. It may be treated by antithymocyte globulin or bone marrow (stem cell) transplant.

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