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Cleveland Clinic Doctor holding a stethoscope while speaking with a patient.
Cleveland Clinic Doctor holding a stethoscope while speaking with a patient.
Doctor examining child with aplastic anemia
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The word “tired” doesn’t fully describe how you feel lately. Drained? Exhausted? Always wishing you could take a nap? That’s more like it.

Then, combine that unrelenting fatigue with frequent headaches, dizziness and feeling sick. It’s easy to understand why getting through the day is so hard. But you have no idea what’s causing it. The good news is these mystery symptoms might not be so mysterious. They can be signs of a rare — but treatable — blood condition called aplastic anemia.

Cleveland Clinic has a dedicated team of healthcare providers that focuses on treating bone marrow failures. We offer the most advanced (and personalized) care, along with the expert guidance and caring support you deserve. We explore all treatment options to make sure you get the best possible results — and a chance to live a long, healthy life.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Aplastic Anemia Care?

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Patient-centered care:

No two cases of aplastic anemia are alike. That’s why we make sure you get a diagnosis and treatment personalized to your needs. We do advanced testing to uncover the reason behind your symptoms and find the best treatments based on your diagnosis and recovery goals.

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Demonstrated expertise:

Our providers have helped write national guidelines on bone marrow conditions and blood cancer treatment. And as international leaders in their field, they’ve written and published hundreds of scientific research publications, helping to set the standards for care. And we’re one of the largest referral centers in the U.S.

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Personalized care:

You get a dedicated team of providers who stay with you throughout your journey — getting to know you and understanding your goals. This team meets regularly to go over your progress and make treatment decisions, including whether to recommend a bone marrow transplant. We want to find the best treatment for you — and the input of everyone on your team helps us do this. Meet our team.

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Innovation and research:

Our providers lead research studies and clinical trials for aplastic anemia and other bone marrow conditions. We can provide hope by testing new drugs and treatments before they’re widely available. Ask your provider if you qualify for one of our trials.

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Virtual visits:

Not all appointments have to be in person. Virtual visits are a convenient way to get the same great care from your provider but from the comfort of your own home. All you need is an internet connection, and you can connect with your smartphone, computer or tablet — no matter where in the world you live.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

Diagnosing Aplastic Anemia at Cleveland Clinic

Aplastic anemia starts when your bone marrow doesn’t have enough stem cells to make:

There are two types of aplastic anemia. The inherited type occurs from a random gene mutation. The acquired kind starts from a problem with your immune system. Aplastic anemia symptoms affect each person differently.

Symptoms like fatigue, bruising, headaches, shortness of breath and dizziness may come on slowly or you may get them all at once. They might be mild and manageable. Or they might be severe — and need immediate treatment. Some people with aplastic anemia may develop bleeding and severe infections.

You may have learned that you might have aplastic anemia after visiting your primary care provider (PCP) about your symptoms. They likely did a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). And it may have shown low blood cell levels (counts). So, your PCP likely recommended you see a specialist to learn more about these test results.

What to expect at your first visit

When you come to Cleveland Clinic to confirm an aplastic anemia diagnosis, you’re probably feeling a little nervous about what’s next. Our team understands this and will help you feel more at ease about taking the next step.

Your provider will start your first visit by getting to know you and asking you to share your story. They’ll want to know:

  • What kind of symptoms are you having?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Are the symptoms getting worse?
  • How do these symptoms affect your life?
  • What kind of testing have you already had?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any health conditions?
  • Has anyone in your family had blood or bone marrow conditions?

While you’re here, you’ll also have a physical exam. And your provider will order more tests to help them rule out other conditions and confirm a diagnosis.

Testing for aplastic anemia

Different tests can help us learn if you have aplastic anemia, what may be causing it and how it’s affecting your body, like:

Second Opinions for Aplastic Anemia

Learning that you may have bone marrow failure can be emotional. You’ll want to make sure you’re working with a team of trusted healthcare providers for the best possible treatment. That’s why we encourage second opinions.

We try to provide priority appointments for anyone looking for a second opinion. When you come in for your appointment, we’ll ask you to bring your medical records. This helps us dive in to help you find the best, most personalized treatment plan for you.

Meet Our Aplastic Anemia Team

Cleveland Clinic believes in a team-based approach to care. This gives you access to all the providers from different specialties you need to make sure you get the most individualized treatment possible. Depending on your symptoms, diagnosis and needs, your care team could include:

Your care team works together to plan your care. And they meet regularly to go over your progress throughout treatment and update your treatment plan as needed.


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations in Northeast Ohio and Florida.

Treating Aplastic Anemia at Cleveland Clinic

Everyone’s treatment journey is unique. So, before building your treatment plan, we look at your symptoms, how aplastic anemia is progressing and whether you have a genetic mutation. This guides your care — as do your overall health, age and recovery goals. Your personalized care plan may include:


Your provider may prescribe medications to treat aplastic anemia by suppressing your immune system (immunosuppressants) and stimulating blood cell production (bone marrow stimulants) or by treating infections (antibiotics). Your care team works closely with Cleveland Clinic pharmacists to make sure you get the best medication for your needs.

Blood transfusions

During a blood transfusion, you receive donated blood to help restore your blood cells. Transfusions can temporarily relieve aplastic anemia symptoms but usually don’t cure the condition.

Bone marrow transplant

Also called a stem cell transplant, a bone marrow transplant replaces your bone marrow with donated, healthy bone marrow. A successful transplant may cure aplastic anemia in some people.

Our team helps you find matching bone marrow, either from a family member or through a national database of donors. This kind of transplant is known as an allogenic stem cell transplant. During the transplant process, you’ll stay in a comfortable, private room on our modern blood and marrow transfusion floor.

Taking the Next Step

Hearing you have a bone marrow condition like aplastic anemia can come as a surprise. And leave you wondering about your future. Cleveland Clinic providers believe your emotional well-being matters as much as the physical. That’s why we work with you to build a care plan that provides the latest aplastic anemia treatment and support for your overall health and well-being. We’re here to guide you through diagnosis, treatment and recovery with expert, compassionate care.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s aplastic anemia experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s aplastic anemia experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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