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Bone marrow transplantation is a surgical procedure in which an ill person receives the stem cells from healthy bone marrow of a donor. This is a treatment modality which is used in some malignant diseases which affect bone marrow. So the patient receives new cells and his/ her sick cells have been complete destroyed prior the operation. This treatment modality is sometimes the only option for certain cancers such as leukemias, lymphomas and certain solid tumors. The procedure is performed in case of aplastic anemia as well.

Complications of Bone Marrow Transplantation

There are numerous potential complications after this surgical procedure and they mainly depend on the type of the disease and the type of bone transplant. Some complications are connected to the age of the patient and some depend on his/ her general health. Preparation regimes as well as the discrepancy between the donor's and recipient's tissue are another potential factors of complications. There can be only one problem after the surgery or the patient may develop two or more complications at the same time.


Infections are rather common complication after bone marrow transplantation. They are caused by previous immunosupression. The infections are generally caused by bacteria. In case that infection is caused by viruses or fungi the patient's life is highly jeopardized. The infection leads to possible postponing of engraftment. The patients are therefore isolated after the surgery and are prophylactically administered certain medication.

Blood AbnormalitiesAnemia as well as thrombocytopenia can develop after the transplantation. The cause of these abnormalities is improper functioning of bone marrow. Thrombocytopenia may cause severe hemorrhage especially if it affects gastrointestinal tract or brain.


The pain in transplanted patient is caused by ulcers that form in oral cavity or gastrointestinal tract.

Excess of Fluid

Excess of fluid can cause pneumonia and damage to certain organs such as liver, kidney and blood vessels.

Respiratory Distress

Respiratory distress is a condition which can be induced by infection (of lungs or other organs), excessive presence of fluid, hemorrhage or by graft-versus-host disease. Respiratory distress is life-threatening condition.

Organ Damage

Numerous organs can be affected and their structure and function changed. The damage may be temporary or permanent and most commonly affected organs include liver, kidneys, heart and so on.

Graft Failure and Graft-Versus-Host-Disease

Graft failure can occur due to infection. Sometimes even the recurrence of the disease leads to graft failure. There may not be enough stem cells from the donor for successful engraftment. Graft-versus-host-disease is severe consequence and is actually a reaction of the patient's body to the foreign tissue (transplant).

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