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What is Blood Dyscrasia?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Blood dyscrasia typically refers to a blood disorder where one part of the blood is not present in normal supply. The different constituents of blood like platelets, or white or red blood cells could be too high or too low in counts. It’s worth noting that sometimes the blood disease has to do with interference in the way blood normally works, such as in clotting diseases caused by missing proteins, like in von Willebrand’s disease, where needed proteins to cause blood clotting are not available as normal. Thus, when abnormal function of blood or its components is present, people are thought to have a blood dyscrasia, and dyscrasia can be thought of as synonymous with disease.

There are many different types of this condition. As mentioned, von Willebrand’s disease occurs when there are poor amounts of the proteins that form blood clots. Another serious illness like this is hemophilia. Similar to blood clotting diseases affecting proteins are those that affect the platelets. Various forms thrombocytopenia or low platelet count can cause serious decrease in platelet production, which may also result in excessive bleeding. Thrombocytopenia can be induced by treatments like chemotherapy or by illness, and it can occasionally be a congenital condition.

Blood dyscrasia can refer to diseases that affect white blood cells. Some of these are extremely serious, like leukemia. A blood disorder of this type may need a variety of interventions in order to try to produce cure, and very serious forms of leukemia can be difficult or impossible to treat.

Other forms of this conditions are found in red blood cell diseases. Sickle cell anemia is one of these, and is a painful and difficult condition that can affect children early on. Many different types of anemia are discrasias. A person could have mild anemia or a low red blood cell count as a result of serious bleeding, for example hemorrhaging. Alternately, some lifelong conditions interfere with the appropriate production of red cells and may need to be treated by various means.

Given the different types of blood dyscrasia or the many expressions of blood diseases, discussion of treatment or outcome is challenging. A transient disorder might be fixed easily, and a lifelong disorder may have treatment that is of use. Usually the only way to determine how to address a blood disorder is to see a skilled physician, have blood levels tested and with that, the physician make determinations on best treatment. Treatments could include medicines, transfusion of blood products, chemotherapy, or even bone marrow transplant, but it all depends on what dyscrasia is present.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By DantheMan — On Apr 10, 2011

@luckydove- I think the drug you are talking about is Zonegran. If that is the one you are talking about it can cause that problem, as well as Lupus and problems with the clotting factors in the blood. The good news is that these are all considered rare side effects and are less likely to harm your sister than unchecked seizures. Have her express her concerns to her doctors, all drugs have side effects and you have to weigh them against the benefits of the medications.

By LuckyDove — On Apr 09, 2011

My sister was just put on a new medication to help treat seizures. The doctor told her that one of the possible side effects could be blood dyscrasias. After reading this article the chance of that happening really worries me. Does anyone know more about this drug and what else it might do to her?

By dtortorelli — On Apr 07, 2011

@anon121690- I am not a doctor, but is sounds like they are saying that they found a lot more red marrow than they expected. It sounds like they suspect some sort of dyscrasias to be the reason for this. I would ask them very specifically to explain it to you.

By anon121690 — On Oct 25, 2010

This is the findings from an MRI I had in 1995. Please explain in layman's terms what this means.

"There is a lack of fatty marrow throughout the lumbar spine on all sequences suggesting that the red marrow dominates which is somewhat unusual in this age group unless the patient has some type of blood dyscrasia stimulating extra hematopoiesis". I am 65 years old now.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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