Fanconi’s anemia

Alternative Names

Anemia – Fanconi’s

Definition of Fanconi’s anemia

Fanconi’s anemia is a disease passed down through families (inherited) that mainly affects the bone marrow. It results in decreased production of all types of blood cells.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Fanconi’s anemia is due to an abnormal gene that damages cells, which keeps them from repairing damaged DNA.

Symptoms

Person’s with Fanconi’s anemia have lower-than-normal numbers of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets (cells that help the blood clot).

Signs and tests

Common tests for Fanconi’s anemia include:

Treatment

Patients with mild to moderate blood cell changes who do not need a transfusion may only need regular check-ups and blood count checks. The health care provider will closely monitor the person for other cancers, usually leukemia or cancers of the head, neck, or urinary system.

Expectations (prognosis)

The survival rates vary from person to person. The outlook is poor in those with low blood counts. New and improved treatments, such as bone marrow transplants, have likely improved survival.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/10/2008

Formed elements of blood

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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