Aplastic Anemia
Signs and Symptoms

Aplastic anemia is suspected when test results indicate that all three blood cell levels are extremely low, but the cells themselves have a relatively normal appearance. It remains a rare disease, striking only two to six out of every one million people annually in the United States and Europe.

In addition to low blood cell counts, aplastic anemia is characterized by other physical symptoms of anemia such as pale skin and fingernails, rapid pulse, heart murmur and fatigue. Children also may exhibit abnormal bleeding including multiple bruises, nosebleeds, bleeding gums and small hemorrhages under the skin as well as infection, especially fever. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood in stool
  • Sinus tenderness
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Oral thrush, which produces white patches on a red, moist, swollen surface anywhere in the mouth

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

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