Glossary

decreased quantity of hemoglobin. The threshold varies according to age and gender. World Health Organization's hemoglobin thresholds used to define anemia are listed in the table below:
Age or Gender GroupHemoglobin threshold (g/dL)
Children (6 months-5 years)11
Children (5-12 years)11.5
Teens (12-15 years)12
Women, non-pregnant (›15 years)12
Women, pregnant11
Men (›15 years)13
rare group of genetic disorders that have certain characteristics in common such as bone marrow failure, birth defects, premature aging and death of the blood cells and sometimes, an increased risk of cancer.
a drug that stops the individual's lymphocytes from attacking against the individual's own body.
complication of long-term need of transfusions. Usually the transfused blood has a higher content of iron, so when given long term, it can lead to an accumulation of iron in the blood and some organs. Iron levels are usually followed while you are on long term transfusion therapy.
is the "blood factory" where the cells of the blood are made, it is usually located in the center of the bones.
subset of the white blood cells that usually deal with viruses.
is when we take a sample of the bone marrow to see if there are any obvious causes within the bone marrow that might explain the findings in your blood. It also helps as a follow up, to see if you are improving or having any signs that might show that a different treatment plan should be pursued.
measurement of the size of the red blood cell.
sometimes the "blood factory" is not working properly and it is not doing it's essential function of producing all the cells in the blood - the infection fighting cells (white blood cells), the oxygen transport cells (red blood cells) and the clot-forming cells (platelets). It can present with recurrent infections, anemia or bleeding. This can be inherited (since birth, due to a gene mutation) or acquired during life.
when the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) falls below 1500/microL. Carries a high risk of a bacterial infection.
therapy used in certain cases of bone marrow failure, in which the bone marrow of one individual (receptor) is replaced with the healthy marrow of another individual (donor). It can be either matched-related (the donor is a relative of the receptor) or matched-unrelated (the donor is not a relative of the receptor).
fever (single oral temperature ›38.3°C/101°F or ›38°C/100.4°F for longer than an hour or 2 elevations ›30°C/100.4° during a 12-hour period) in the setting of neutropenia. It is a medical emergency.
drugs that help the body to get rid of the excess iron.
subset of the white blood cells that usually deal with bacteria.
blood test used to measure all the blood cells.
clot-forming cells. Whenever there is an injury, the platelets make a plug that stops the bleeding.
drug that targets a specific subset of lymphocytes, so they don't become activated against the individual's own body.
oxygen-carrying blood cells.
they are units that contain the information to build and maintain all the cells in the body and the information that passes from a parent to his/her offspring.
group of drugs used to treat some bone marrow failure syndromes. They act by limiting the body's activation against itself, which might increase the blood cell destruction.
defect in the gene that causes the information to be defective or wrong, so that cells in the body are wrongly made.
when the platelet count falls below 150,000/microL. Symptoms usually develop when counts fall below 50,000.
a growth factor that stimulates the production of a subset of white blood cells, particularly neutrophils.
consists of a replacement of blood cells that might be low. It can be either a red cell transfusion (to treat anemia) or platelets (to treat actual or threatened bleeding due to a low platelet count).
oxygen-binding pigment contained within the red blood cell.
drug used to thin the blood in cases where the individual is at risk of clots. It is usually taken by mouth.
drug used to thin the blood in cases where the individual is at risk of clots. It is usually injected.
infection fighting blood cells. Usually they rise whenever there is an infection.