Pancytopenia is a reduction in the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the peripheral blood below the lower limits of the age-adjusted normal range for healthy people. It is therefore the combination of anaemia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia. It may result from decreased production of blood cells, bone marrow failure, immune-mediated destruction of blood cells, or non-immune-mediated sequestration in the periphery. The diagnosis is made from the results of an automated full blood count but, as the aetiology of pancytopenia varies significantly, a detailed diagnostic evaluation is required in every instance.
Director, Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation
Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York
Professor of Pediatric and Molecular Medicine
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
New Hyde Park
JML declares that he has no competing interests.
Dr Jeffrey M. Lipton would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Jeff K. Davies and Dr Eva C. Guinan, the previous contributors to this topic. JKD and ECG declare that they have no competing interests.
Professor and Division Director
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
SD declares that she has no competing interests.
Department of Hematology
The Royal London Hospital
DP was medical director at GlaxoSmithKline 2005-2006.
Bone Marrow Failure Clinic
Tomorrows Children's Institute
Hackensack University Medical Center
APG declares that he has no competing interests.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer