Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

(Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT); Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) Transplantation; Cord Blood Transplantation)

Definition

Stem cells produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. In some cases, stem cells in your bone marrow may not be functioning well or need to be destroyed to help treat a disease. If this happens, you will need new stem cells.It may take about a month for the donor stem cells in the bone marrow to begin to function fully. If the transplant is successful, new bone marrow cells will produce healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.Stem cell transplantation may be done using:
  • Stem cells that were taken from your own bone marrow or blood and stored
  • Stem cells from a donor's bone marrow or blood
Location of Active Bone Marrow in an Adult
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Reasons for Procedure

This procedure is done if the stem cells in your bone marrow are not functioning or are deficient. This may be caused by:

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a stem cell transplant, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
  • Infection—until the donor blood-forming cells begin to function
  • Rejection of the donor stem cells
  • Acute graft versus host disease—when the immune cells in the donor's bone marrow attack your tissue
Possible complications for the donor include:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
Stem cell transplant is usually avoided if you have:
  • Disease of the heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys
  • Diabetes
Be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor before the transplant.

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