Bone Marrow Transplant: What you need to know?

Bone Marrow Transplant:  What you need to know?
January 18 09:15 2022 by admin Print This Article

What is Bone Marrow?

Bone marrow is a fat tissue found inside your bones, which contains stem cells that develop into different types of cells that your body needs. When these stem cells are damaged due to cancer, chemotherapy or any other disease, your body loses the ability to create healthy blood cells. It is in conditions like these that a bone marrow transplant is considered.

What is a Bone Marrow Transplant?

A Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) is a medical procedure that replaces diseased or damaged bone marrow with healthy blood-forming stem cells.

The process involves taking healthy stem cells from the patient or a donor, filtering them and transfusing them into the patient’s vein through a catheter. The cells will find their way into the bones through the bloodstream and start developing into mature blood cells. Stem cells can be collected from cells circulating in the blood (peripheral blood stem cells) or through bone marrow harvest or from Umbilical Cord.

What are the diseases for which BMT can be effective?

  • Leukemias (Blood or Bone marrow cancer)
  • Lymphomas (Cancer of the lymphatic system)
  • Multiple Myeloma (Cancer of plasma cells)
  • Aplastic anaemia (A condition in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells)
  • Immune deficiency disorders
  • Thalassemia
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Types of Bone Marrow Transplant:

Autologous BMT: In this kind of transplant, stem cells are taken from the patient’s bone marrow or peripheral blood.

Allogeneic BMT: Someone that shares the same genetic type (HCA Matched) as the patient becomes the donor. It can be a sibling, parent or an unrelated person who is a genetic match.

Umbilical Cord Transplant: Stem cells taken from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby are used.

Matching of the donor and patient:

bone marrow specimenThe matching process involves typing the Human Leukocyte Antigen tissue (HCA). There are about 100 HLA antigens in the human body and the higher the number of matching antigens, the beer the chances of a successful transplant.

The sibling of the patient is considered the ideal donor. There is a 1 in 4 chance of siblings being a full match for Bone marrow transplantation.

What to expect during and are the procedure?

The transplant infusion is a painless procedure and doesn’t require general anaesthesia. The stem cells are infused into the patient’s body through a catheter that’s surgically placed in a vein in the chest area.

The patient will be closely monitored are the transplant and every step would be taken to prevent infections and other complications. Doctors will advise the patient on the medications to take and the diet/lifestyle changes that need to be made.

Regular follow-ups will be required for months to years are the transplant. The patient will have to undergo blood tests to keep track of the blood counts, which are indicative of how effective the transplantation is.

What are the possible side effects?

Side effects

Bone marrow transplants are safer than ever before, but depending on various factors, like the type of transplant, pre-existing conditions, age and overall health of the patient, complications may arise.

  • Infections
  • Anaemia and Thrombocytopenia (low count of platelets)
  • Gastrointestinal irritation, Throat Pain
  • Fluid overload
  • Respiratory distress
  • Organ damage
  • Graft (transplant) failure
  • Graft-versus-host disease (The donor’s immune system reacts against the recipient’s tissue)
  • Fertility issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Bleeding

With newer methods to improve the effectiveness of the treatment and reduce complications and side effects, the prognosis and long-term survival rates of BMT patients are excellent.

The Kauvery team has a highly experienced Transplant team, with experts in Oncology, Haematology and Immunology along with other healthcare providers. You can rest assured that you can return to your normal routine fast and enjoy good quality of life.

Reviewed by Dr Suresh S Venkita, Group Medical Director, Kauvery Hospitals

Kauvery Hospital is globally known for its multidisciplinary services at all its Centers of Excellence, and for its comprehensive, Avant-Grade technology, especially in diagnostics and remedial care in heart diseases, transplantation, vascular and neurosciences medicine. Located in the heart of Trichy (Tennur, Royal Road and Alexandria Road (Cantonment), Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Tirunelveli and Bengaluru, the hospital also renders adult and pediatric trauma care.

Chennai – 044 4000 6000 • Trichy – Cantonment – 0431 4077777 • Trichy – Heartcity – 0431 4003500 • Trichy – Tennur – 0431 4022555 • Hosur – 04344 272727 • Salem – 0427 2677777 • Tirunelveli – 0462 4006000 • Bengaluru – 080 6801 6801

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  1. Vimal
    January 19, 07:37 #1 Vimal

    Bone marrow and stem cells remained to be the hype in the medical news for quite some time in the past. It is useful to read a detailed article on this topic.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Haafiza Begum N
    December 29, 17:07 #2 Haafiza Begum N

    This is an useful blog. To know more about the functions of bone marrow, read this blog.

    Reply to this comment

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