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Microcytic anemia

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Title: Microcytic anemia  
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Subject: Alpha-thalassemia, Hypochromic anemia, Macrocytic anemia, Normocytic anemia, Nutritional anemia
Collection: Anemias, Clinical Pathology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Microcytic anemia

Microcytic anaemia
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 D50.8

Microcytic anaemia is any of several types of anemia characterized by small red blood cells (called microcytes). The normal mean corpuscular volume (abbreviated to MCV on full blood count results) is 80-100 fL, with smaller cells (<80 fL) described as microcytic and larger cells (>100 fL) as macrocytic (the latter occur in macrocytic anemia).The MCV is the average red blood cell size.

In microcytic anemia, the red blood cells (erythrocytes) are usually also hypochromic, meaning that the red blood cells appear paler than usual. This is reflected by a lower-than-normal mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), a measure representing the amount of haemoglobin per unit volume of fluid inside the cell; normally about 320-360 g/L or 32-36 g/dL. Typically, therefore, anemia of this category is described as "microcytic, hypochromic anaemia".


  • Causes 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Typical causes of microcytic anemia include:

Other causes that are typically thought of as causing normocytic anemia or macrocytic anemia must also be considered, and the presence of two or more causes of anemia can distort the typical picture.

See also


  1. ^ Iolascon A, De Falco L, Beaumont C (January 2009). "Molecular basis of inherited microcytic anemia due to defects in iron acquisition or heme synthesis". Haematologica 94 (3): 395–408.  
  2. ^ a b Weng, CH; Chen JB; Wang J; Wu CC; Yu Y; Lin TH (2011). "Surgically Curable Non-Iron Deficiency Microcytic Anemia: Castleman's Disease.". Onkologie 34 (8-9): 456–8.  

External links

  • Emedicine on chronic anemia
  • Rare Anemias Foundation
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