What Is Blood Dyscrasia?

Physicians may be the best source for patients wondering how to address a blood disorder.
A diagram showing different types of white blood cells. Blood dyscrasia can refer to diseases that affect white blood cells.
Diseases that impact red blood cells are forms of blood dyscrasia.
Samples of blood from a healthy person and one with leukemia. Leukemia is a form of blood dyscrasia.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Blood dyscrasia typically refers to a blood disorder where one part of the blood is not present in normal supply. The different constituents of blood like platelets, or white or red blood cells could be too high or too low in counts. It’s worth noting that sometimes the blood disease has to do with interference in the way blood normally works, such as in clotting diseases caused by missing proteins, like in von Willebrand’s disease, where needed proteins to cause blood clotting are not available as normal. Thus, when abnormal function of blood or its components is present, people are thought to have a blood dyscrasia, and dyscrasia can be thought of as synonymous with disease.

There are many different types of blood dyscrasia. As mentioned, von Willebrand’s disease occurs when there are poor amounts of the proteins that form blood clots. Another serious illness like this is hemophilia. Similar to blood clotting diseases affecting proteins are those that affect the platelets. Various forms thrombocytopenia or low platelet count can cause serious decrease in platelet production, which may also result in excessive bleeding. Thrombocytopenia can be induced by treatments like chemotherapy or by illness, and it can occasionally be a congenital condition.

Ad

Blood dyscrasia can refer to diseases that affect white blood cells. Some of these are extremely serious, like leukemia. A blood disorder of this type may need a variety of interventions in order to try to produce cure, and very serious forms of leukemia can be difficult or impossible to treat.

Other forms of blood dyscrasia are found in red blood cell diseases. Sickle cell anemia is one of these, and is a painful and difficult condition that can affect children early on. Many different types of anemia are discrasias. A person could have mild anemia or a low red blood cell count as a result of serious bleeding, for example hemorrhaging. Alternately, some lifelong conditions interfere with the appropriate production of red cells and may need to be treated by various means.

Given the different types of blood dyscrasia or the many expressions of blood diseases, discussion of treatment or outcome is challenging. A transient disorder might be fixed easily, and a lifelong disorder may have treatment that is of use. Usually the only way to determine how to address a blood disorder is to see a skilled physician, have blood levels tested and with that, the physician make determinations on best treatment. Treatments could include medicines, transfusion of blood products, chemotherapy, or even bone marrow transplant, but it all depends on what dyscrasia is present.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

DantheMan
Post 4

@luckydove- I think the drug you are talking about is Zonegran. If that is the one you are talking about it can cause that problem, as well as Lupus and problems with the clotting factors in the blood. The good news is that these are all considered rare side effects and are less likely to harm your sister than unchecked seizures. Have her express her concerns to her doctors, all drugs have side effects and you have to weigh them against the benefits of the medications.

LuckyDove
Post 3

My sister was just put on a new medication to help treat seizures. The doctor told her that one of the possible side effects could be blood dyscrasias. After reading this article the chance of that happening really worries me. Does anyone know more about this drug and what else it might do to her?

dtortorelli
Post 2

@anon121690- I am not a doctor, but is sounds like they are saying that they found a lot more red marrow than they expected. It sounds like they suspect some sort of dyscrasias to be the reason for this. I would ask them very specifically to explain it to you.

anon121690
Post 1

This is the findings from an MRI I had in 1995. Please explain in layman's terms what this means.

"There is a lack of fatty marrow throughout the lumbar spine on all sequences suggesting that the red marrow dominates which is somewhat unusual in this age group unless the patient has some type of blood dyscrasia stimulating extra hematopoiesis". I am 65 years old now.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email