Aplastic anaemia is a rare condition characterised by pancytopenia and bone marrow hypocellularity and caused by the immune-mediated destruction of the haematopoietic precursors. The early complications are related to cytopaenias with infections being the major cause of morbi-mortality. The main long-term issue is clonal evolution to myelodysplastic syndrome or acute leukaemia. The diagnosis relies on exclusion of other causes of pancytopenia and characteristic pathologic findings. Severity is stratified according to peripheral blood counts. Nowadays, the survival of treated patients reaches 80–90%. The treatment of the severe form of aplastic anaemia consists on haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in eligible patients and immunosuppressive therapy in non-transplant candidates. Supportive therapy is an option in frail and/or elderly patients. Here, we define and briefly review the pathogenesis of aplastic anaemia. We propose a diagnostic and therapeutic strategy based on existing literature and experts’ recommendations. We finally report three cases illustrating particular clinical associations with pregnancy, hepatitis and paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria.
(BELG J HEMATOL 2018;9(3):76–85)