Lets Know About Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone Marrow Transplant

A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure carried out to replaces bone marrow that has been damaged or destroyed by disease, infection, or chemotherapy. This procedure includes transplanting blood stem cells, which travel to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote growth of new marrow.

Bone marrow is a tissue which is spongy and fatty tissue which is found inside the bones. It forms the following components of the blood:

  • Red blood cells, which transport oxygen and other nutrients in the body
  • White blood cells, which fight infection
  • Platelets, which are responsible for the Clotting to prevent the loss of blood.

Bone marrow will also contain immature blood-forming cells which are known as hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs. The cells in the body replicate itself to make copies of themselves.

But, the stem cells are unspecialized, which means they have the viable to multiply and become any sort of the blood cells. These HSC’s found in the bone marrow will make new blood cells throughout the lifespan.

A bone marrow transplant replaces your damaged stem cells with healthy Stem cells. This helps your body make adequate white blood cells, platelets, or red blood cells to overcome infections, bleeding disorders, or anemia.

Healthy stem cells can come from a donor, or they can be harvested from their own body. In such cases, stem cells can be taken, or grown, before the start chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Those harvested  healthy cells are then stored and used in transplantation.

Why You May Need a Bone Marrow Transplant ?

Bone marrow transplants are carried out when a person’s marrow isn’t healthy enough to function properly. This should be due to chronic infections, disease, or cancer treatments. Some other reasons for a bone marrow transplant include:

  • Aplastic anemia, its a disorder in which the marrow stops making new blood cells
  • Cancers that affect the marrow, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and more than one myeloma
  • Damaged bone marrow due to chemotherapy
  • Congenital neutropenia, which is an inherited disease that causes recurring infections
  • Sickle cell anemia, which is an inherited blood disorder that causes misshapen red blood cells
  • Thalassemia, which is an inherited blood ailment where the body makes an unusual shape of hemoglobin, an integral part of red blood cells

What are the types of Bone Marrow Transplant ?

There are two major types of bone marrow transplants. The type used will depend on the reason you need a transplant.

Autologous Transplants

Autologous transplants involve the use of a person’s own stem cells. They typically involve harvesting your cells before beginning a damaging therapy to cells like chemotherapy or radiation. After the treatment is done, your own cells are returned to your body.


This type of transplant isn’t always available. It can only be used if you have a healthy bone marrow. However, it reduces the risk of some serious complications.

Allogeneic Transplants

Allogeneic transplants involve the use of cells from a donor. The donor must be a close genetic match. Often, a compatible relative is the best choice, but genetic matches can also be found from a donor registry.

Allogeneic TransplantsAllogeneic transplants are necessary if you have a condition that has damaged your bone marrow cells. However, they have a higher risk of certain complications. You’ll also probably need to be put on medications to suppress your immune system so that your body doesn’t attack the new cells. This can leave you susceptible to illness.

The success of an allogeneic transplant depends on how closely the donor cells match your own.

How to Prepare for a Bone Marrow Transplant ?

Prior to your transplant, you’ll undergo several tests to discover what type of bone marrow cells you need.  You may also undergo radiation or chemotherapy to kill off all cancer cells or marrow cells before you get the new stem cells. Bone marrow transplants take up to a week.

During treatments, the immune system will be compromised, affecting its ability to fight infections. Therefore, you’ll stay in a special section of the hospital that’s reserved for people receiving bone marrow transplants. This reduces your risk of being exposed to anything that could cause an infection.

How a Bone Marrow Transplant Is Performed ?

The procedure is similar to a blood transfusion. If you’re having an allogeneic transplant, bone marrow cells will be harvested from the donor a day or two before your procedure. If your own cells are being used, they’ll be retrieved from the stem cell bank. Cells are collected in two ways.

How Bone marrow transplant doneDuring a bone marrow harvest, cells are collected from both hipbones through a needle. The procedure is done under general anesthesia


During leukapheresis, a donor is given five shots to help the stem cells move from the bone marrow and into the bloodstream. Blood is then drawn through an intravenous (IV) line, and a machine separates out the white blood cells that contain stem cells.

A needle called a central venous catheter, or a port, will be installed on the upper right portion of your chest. This allows the fluid containing the new stem cells to flow directly into your heart. The stem cells then disperse throughout your body. They flow through your blood and into the bone marrow. They’ll become established there and begin to grow.

The port is left in place because the bone marrow transplant is done over several sessions for a few days. Multiple sessions give the new stem cells the best chance to integrate themselves into your body. That process is known as engraftment.

Through this port, you’ll also receive blood transfusions, liquids, and possibly nutrients. You may need medications to fight off infections and help the new marrow grow. This depends on how well you handle the treatments.

During this time, you’ll be closely monitored for any complications.

What to Expect After a Bone Marrow Transplant ?

The success of a bone marrow transplant is primarily dependent on how closely the donor and recipient genetically match. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to find a good match among unrelated donors.

The state of your engraftment will be regularly monitored. It’s generally complete between 10 and 28 days after the initial transplant. The first sign of engraftment is a rising white blood cell count. This shows that the transplant is starting to make new blood cells.

Typical recovery time for a bone marrow transplant is about three months. However, it may take up to a year for you to recover fully. Recovery depends on numerous factors, including:

  • The condition being treated
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Donor match
  • Where the transplant is performed

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  1. Great Information

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