A Review of Hematopoietic Disorders

Hematopoietic disorders, also known as blood disorders, refer to a group of diseases that affect the production or function of blood cells.


These disorders can be classified into three main categories: anemia, bleeding disorders, and blood cancers.

Anemia is characterized by a decrease in the number of red blood cells or a decrease in the hemoglobin levels, leading to decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. There are various types of anemia, including iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, and sickle cell anemia. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and shortness of breath.

Bleeding disorders involve abnormalities in the blood’s ability to clot. Hemophilia and von Willebrand disease are two common bleeding disorders. Hemophilia is a genetic disorder characterized by a deficiency in clotting factor VIII or IX, while von Willebrand disease is caused by a deficiency or dysfunction of von Willebrand factor. People with bleeding disorders may experience excessive bleeding from minor injuries, nosebleeds, or prolonged bleeding after surgery.

Blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, arise from abnormal growth and multiplication of blood cells. Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood cells, while lymphoma affects the lymphatic system. Multiple myeloma affects plasma cells, which are responsible for producing antibodies. Symptoms of blood cancers can vary but may include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, recurrent infections, and swollen lymph nodes.

Treatment for hematopoietic disorders depends on the specific condition and its severity. Anemia may be managed with iron supplementation, blood transfusions, or medications to stimulate red blood cell production. Bleeding disorders may require clotting factor replacement therapy or medications to enhance blood clotting. Blood cancers may be treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies, or stem cell transplantation.


1. Genetic mutations: Many hematopoietic disorders, such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, are caused by genetic mutations that affect the production or function of red blood cells or other blood components.

2. Infections: Certain viral and bacterial infections, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and parvovirus B19, can cause hematopoietic disorders by directly attacking the bone marrow or disrupting the normal production of blood cells.

3. Autoimmune disorders: Autoimmune disorders, such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia and immune thrombocytopenia, occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys its own blood cells.

4. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy: Cancer treatments that involve chemotherapy or radiation therapy can damage the bone marrow and lead to hematopoietic disorders, including decreased production of blood cells.

5. Exposure to toxins: Certain chemicals, such as benzene and certain chemotherapy drugs, can damage the bone marrow and interfere with the production of blood cells.

6. Nutritional deficiencies: Deficiencies in important nutrients, such as iron, vitamin B12, and folate, can cause hematopoietic disorders, such as iron deficiency anemia and megaloblastic anemia.

7. Inherited disorders: Some hematopoietic disorders, such as Fanconi anemia and Diamond-Blackfan anemia, are inherited and result from genetic abnormalities that affect the production of blood cells.

8. Myelodysplastic syndromes: Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of disorders characterized by abnormal bone marrow function and production of blood cells. The exact cause is often unknown, but factors such as exposure to radiation or toxins, genetic mutations, and aging are thought to play a role.

9. Myeloproliferative neoplasms: Myeloproliferative neoplasms, such as polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia, are characterized by the overproduction of certain types of blood cells. The exact cause is often unknown, but genetic mutations are believed to contribute to the development of these disorders.

10. Bone marrow failure syndromes: Bone marrow failure syndromes, such as aplastic anemia and pure red cell aplasia, occur when the bone marrow fails to produce enough blood cells. While the exact cause is often unclear, factors such as autoimmune reactions, viral infections, and genetic abnormalities are believed to contribute to these disorders.

Related Articles

A review of hematopoietic disorders can be found in various sources, including systematic reviews, expert panels, and evidence-based reviews. Some of the key references for hematopoietic disorders include:

1. Systematic reviews in hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular therapy: This article provides current guidance on methodologies, resources for reviewers, and approaches to overcome challenges in conducting systematic reviews in transplantation and cellular therapy[1].

2. Review of ‘minitransplantation’: nonmyelo-ablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: This article discusses the recommendations from an expert panel on behalf of the European LeukemiaNet and provides insights into nonmyelo-ablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation[2].

3. Evidence-based focused review of the status of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as treatment of sickle cell disease and thalassemia: This review focuses on the indications for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in sickle cell disease (SCD) and transfusion-dependent thalassemia, as well as the expected outcomes of HSCT for these conditions[3].

4. A review of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for autoimmune diseases: This review covers multiple sclerosis, systemic sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease, discussing the potential of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as a treatment option for these autoimmune diseases[5].

The references below provide valuable insights into various aspects of hematopoietic disorders, including transplantation, cellular therapy, and the management of specific diseases such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and autoimmune diseases.


In conclusion, hematopoietic disorders encompass a wide range of conditions and causes that impact the blood cells’ production or function. These disorders can cause a variety of symptoms and may require different treatment approaches depending on the specific condition. Awareness, early diagnosis, and appropriate management are key in improving outcomes for individuals with hematopoietic disorders.


[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33514917/
[2] https://www.nature.com/articles/bmt2009269.pdf
[3] https://ashpublications.org/blood/article/123/20/3089/32709/Evidence-based-focused-review-of-the-status-of
[4] https://www.jax.org/research-and-faculty/research-labs/the-harrison-lab/hematology/hematology-references
[5] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2531137920300328

Guss Rigne

Guss Rigne is, in another life, an English actor, director, and producer known for his roles on stage, television, and film. He joined the News i8 team in 2023.

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