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Molecular pathogenesis of acquired aplastic anemia

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The application of next‐generation sequencing (NGS) has enhanced our understanding of the genetic landscape in acquired aplastic anemia (AA). Parallel progress has been in addressing aspects underlying immune dysregulation in disease pathogenesis. Novel insights into the molecular and biologic mechanisms have led to a shift in the paradigm of AA, from a solely autoimmune pathogenic concept toward its recognition as a multifaceted pathophysiology characterized by cytogenetic abnormalities, recurrent somatic mutations, telomere attrition, and immune dysregulation. The detection of recurrent driver mutations disrupting myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)/acute myeloid leukemia (AML)‐associated genes has suggested a pathophysiologic link between clonal hematopoiesis in AA and the later development of these clonal disorders. Further, certain AA‐related somatic genetic alterations may have clinical implications on treatment response, disease progression, and survival following immunosuppressive therapy. Going forward, wider validation of these genetic abnormalities will allow for their incorporation into a more informative risk stratification system that does not rely solely on clinical factors.
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Keywords: acquired aplastic anemia; clonal evolution; cytogenetics; immunosuppressive; next‐generation sequencing; somatic mutations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

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