Anaemia

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

Anaemia is the presence of reduced haemoglobin in the blood. Formally, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines anaemia by the haemoglobin concentration in the blood according to age and sex 1:

  • adult men: <130 g/L
  • adult women: <120 g/L

Values for pregnant women and children are different.

Pathology

Aetiology

The aetiology of anaemia is traditionally categorised by the volume of the red cell, i.e. the mean cell volume (MCV), into microcytic (MCV <82 fL), normocytic (MCV = 82-98 fL) and macrocytic (MCV >98 fL) anaemias. 

Microcytic (MCV <82 fL)
Normocytic (MCV = 82-98 fL) 
Macrocytic (MCV >98 fL)
  • dietary deficiency: vitamin B12, folate
  • medication toxicity: hydroxyurea, AZT, methotrexate
  • dyserythropoiesis, myelodysplastic syndrome, clonal haematologic disorder
  • hereditary haematologic disorders
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Article information

rID: 64273
System: Haematology
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Anemias
  • Anemia
  • Anaemias

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