Difference Between Aplastic Anemia and Pancytopenia (With Table)

Medical science is a wide term and complex too. You all may hear about bone marrow, which is responsible for the production of blood cells. Aplastic anemia and pancytopenia these terms are used in medical science to explain two different conditions. The symptoms are quite similar, but they have a cause-and-effect relationship with each other.

Aplastic Anemia vs Pancytopenia

The difference between aplastic anemia and pancytopenia is that aplastic anemia is somehow a rare condition that affects the bone marrow, and it consequently ceased the production of new blood cells. On the contrary, pancytopenia is a condition that arises due to a deficiency of blood cells or essential elements in the blood. In other words, Aplastic anemia leads to pancytopenia.

Aplastic anemia is a condition that affects the bone marrow, and as a result, the bone marrow would cease or put a stop to the blood cell production that decreases the cell line of the blood or results in deficiency of blood cells. In other words, aplastic anemia lowers the blood count in the body.

Pancytopenia is a condition that is mostly observed when an individual is suffering from aplastic anemia. In pancytopenia, the cell line or the cell count decrease in the blood, which indicates that something serious is going on in the bone marrow.

Comparison Table Between Aplastic Anemia and Pancytopenia

Parámetros de comparaciónAplastic AnemiaPancytopenia
¿Qué es?Aplastic anemia is a disorder of blood cells that harms the bone marrow and consequently ceases the formation of new blood cells.Pancytopenia is a condition in which a person suffers a low count of blood cells.
TratamientoBlood transfusion, bone marrow transplant, immunosuppressant drugs, etc.Treatment of pancytopenia depends on the cause.
PorqueIt can be caused either by a gene defect or some triggering problem in the immune system.It is caused due to the inability of bone marrow to make new cells in the bloodline.
SíntomasTiredness, dizziness, chest pain, infection, nose bleeding, etc.Rashes, seizures, fast heart rate, significant blood loss, etc.
AfectarAplastic anemia can cause the situation like pancytopenia.Pancytopenia cannot cause aplastic anemia.

What is Aplastic Anemia?

Aplastic anemia is a disorder of the blood cells that harms or damages the bone marrow and eventually ceases the formation of new blood cells. This results in a low blood count in the body. It is caused due to various reasons, including exposure to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, using drugs, etc. Aplastic anemia can be categorized into two types:

  • Acquired aplastic anemia- It is common in young people, adults, and children as well and caused by a defect in genes.
  • Inherited aplastic anemia- It is quite common in adults and caused when there is some triggering problem in the immune system. It could be toxic chemicals, radiation, medications, etc.

Síntomas

The Symptom of aplastic anemia depends on the type of blood cell. Our body is consists of three types of cells. This includes white blood, platelets, and red blood cells. If any of these cells is deficient or low in the blood, then eventually, the symptoms will differ for each.

What is Pancytopenia?

The cell line of the blood is consists of three types of cells, including white blood cells (WBC), platelets, and red blood cells(RBC). Pancytopenia is a condition in which there is a decrement in the cell line of the blood. It works as an indicator and an important blood finding that eventually detects something serious in the bone marrow.

Pancytopenia is not a disease but a condition that arises as a result of severe infection, aplastic anemia, and many more, which cause low blood count.

Síntomas

Although every cell type has its specific function and their deficiency has a different effect on the body. For instance, red blood cells are considered oxygen carriers, and their deficiency will result in difficulty in breathing and fatigue. Deficiency in white blood cells causes severe infection as these cells help to fight infection.

Apart from the symptoms caused by a deficit of a particular type of cell, some additional symptoms are associated with pancytopenia, including:

– Fast heart rate

– Rashes

– Easy bruising

– Pale skin color

Main Differences Between Aplastic Anemia and Pancytopenia

  1. Aplastic anemia is a disorder of the blood cells that harms or damages the bone marrow and consequently ceases the formation of new blood cells. The cell line of the blood is consists of three types of cells, including white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells. When the marrow is damaged, the cell count of these blood cells or a particular type of cell decreased, and this decrement is caused by aplastic anemia. On the other hand, pancytopenia is a condition that arises due to deficiency of blood cells or due to low blood count.
  2. Aplastic anemia and pancytopenia both lead to a decrease in blood cells, but in aplastic anemia, the bone marrow is damaged, or in other words, aplastic anemia is the disease or the condition that arises pancytopenia. In both conditions, the symptoms are quite similar, but they have a cause and effect relationship to each other.
  3. Aplastic anemia and pancytopenia are treatable. Treatment for aplastic anemia includes blood transfusion, immunosuppressant drugs, bone marrow transplant, etc. As both of these condition results in low blood count, hence their treatment is also quite similar. The only difference is the treatment of pancytopenia depends on the cause, which results in the deficiency.
  4. Aplastic anemia and pancytopenia are caused by various reasons. Aplastic anemia is categorized into two types, one is raised due to gene defect, and the other is raised due to some triggering problem in the immune system. On the contrary, pancytopenia is a condition raised when the marrow is not able to new cells.
  5. Detecting the disease is a challenging task. Aplastic anemia can be detected or located by conducting various diagnóstico tests, including bone marrow biopsy and complete blood count. On the other hand, diagnosis or detection of pancytopenia is made by conducting tests like liver profile, CBC, folic acid level, kidney profile, etc.

Conclusión

Low blood count or deficiency in the blood cells is a serious issue and life-threatening as well. Aplastic anemia and pancytopenia, both of these conditions develop symptoms when there is a decrement in the blood cells. Aplastic anemia affects the bone marrow, which eventually ceases the formation of new blood cells in the body and results in the deficiency of blood cells in the body. 

On the other hand, pancytopenia is a condition which raised due to low blood count. Hence both of these terms have a cause and effect relationship with each other. Although the symptoms and treatment of aplastic anemia and pancytopenia are quite similar.

Referencias

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002962915404665