Fanconi Anemia
Signs and Symptoms

Many children with Fanconi anemia are born with birth defects, especially to the hands and arms. But up to 40 percent have no obvious clues. For those children, the first sign is often fatigue. Because red blood cells deliver oxygen to every part of the body, when there aren't enough red blood cells to go around, tiredness sets in. Other signs of too few red blood cells can include shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches.

Likewise, too few white blood cells are also a health concern. Without enough infection fighters on board, the body can't fend off illness as easily. Infections may linger and be more serious in those with Fanconi anemia.

A child with Fanconi anemia may also have abnormalities of the heart, lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Bone problems are also common, such as curvature of the spine (scoliosis). Other signs associated with this condition include:

  • Cafe au lait spots (light-brown birth marks)
  • Short stature
  • Small head
  • Small eyes

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

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Blood & Marrow Transplant

Blood & Marrow Transplant Program
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Blood & Marrow Transplant Clinic
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San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2986
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Hematology Clinic
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San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3831
Fax: (415) 514-5868
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