is a medical
condition in which there is a reduction in the number of red
and white blood cells
, as well as platelets
Pancytopenia is generally due to diseases affecting the bone marrow
, although peripheral destruction of all lines of blood cells in hypersplenism
(overactive spleen) is a recognised cause. Bone marrow problems causing pancytopenia include myelofibrosis
, aplastic anemia
, and the malignant form of osteoporosis
Chemotherapy for malignancies may also cause pancytopenia, if the drug or drugs used cause bone marrow suppression.
Increasingly, HIV is itself a cause for pancytopenia.
Rarely, drugs (antibiotics, blood pressure medication, heart medication) can cause pancytopenia.
Pancytopenia usually requires a bone marrow biopsy in order to distinguish among different causes.
Causes of pancytopenia
- Aplastic anemia
- Dyskeratosis congenita
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Severe Folate or Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (Urine test)
- Finally overwhelming viral infections (HIV most common).