• Sep 25, 2015

An Overview on Bone Marrow and Liver Transplantations

Bone marrow transplant generally refers to the process of getting a damaged bone marrow replaced with a healthy bone marrow. This process is also known as the haemopoietic stem cell transplant. The hollow centers of some of the bones contain a tissue, a little spongy in nature known as the bone marrow. This consists of the stem that produces the blood cells of our body.

The stem cells in our bone generally produce three different types of blood cells and these are the red blood cells, white blood cells and the platelets. For your survival, you need your blood cells and bone marrow to be healthy. However, at certain times, different diseases can affect your marrow and stop it from functioning normally. And for certain diseases, bone marrow transplant seems to be the only cure.

As mentioned earlier, with bone marrow transplantation you can replace the unhealthy blood cells with healthy ones. These blood forming cells are also known as blood stems. These are the immature cells that can grow anywhere in the red and white blood cells and the platelets. Mainly, there are three types of bone marrow transplants and these are autologous, allogeneic and syngenic blood transplant. Patients are given their own stem cells in autologous bone marrow transplants and in allogeneic transplants stem cells can be received from either any family member or any outsider. In syngenic transplants, stem cells are received from identical twins.

Now, when we talk of transplant then another organ that requires a transplant as it begins to no longer function properly is the liver. This is our body's largest internal organ and weighs around 3 pounds. Liver failure can occur on account of many reasons and some of the most common ones are listed below:

  • Chronic cirrhosis

  • Alcoholism

  • Liver cancer

  • Wilson's disease where there is an abrupt deposition of copper all over the body including the liver.

  • Hemochromatosis is a disease that marks the availability of iron in excess in the body

In an adult, the most common reason for transplant is cirrhosis. In children, the most common reason is billiary atresia and this is a disease that involves the bile ducts.

In India, there are thousands who are in the need for undergoing a bone marrow or a liver transplant in India. Therefore, it is very important to educate the masses about these transplants and guide them in choosing the clinics and medical institutions that can offer them world class bone marrow and organ transplant services.