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Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells (and consequently their oxygen-carrying capacity) is insufficient to meet the body’s physiologic needs. Specific physiologic needs vary with a person’s age, gender, residential elevation above sea level (altitude), smoking behaviour, and different stages of pregnancy. Iron deficiency is thought to be the most common cause of anemia globally, but other nutritional deficiencies (including folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin A), acute and chronic inflammation, parasitic infections, and inherited or acquired disorders that affect haemoglobin synthesis, red blood cell production or red blood cell survival, can all cause anemia.1

Microcytic Anemia

Microcytic anemia is defined as the presence of small, often hypochromic, red blood cells in a peripheral blood smear and is usually characterized by a low MCV (less than 83 micron 3). Iron deficiency is the most common cause of microcytic anemia.

Normocytic anemia

Normocytic anemias may be thought of as representing any of the following: a decreased production of normal-sized red blood cells (e.g., anemia of chronic disease, aplastic anemia); an increased destruction or loss of red blood cells (e.g., hemolysis, posthemorrhagic anemia); an uncompensated increase in plasma volume (e.g., pregnancy, fluid overload); or a mixture of conditions producing microcytic and macrocytic anemias.

Macrocytic Anemia

Macrocytic anemia is a type of anemia that causes unusually large red blood cells. Red blood cells larger than 100 fL are considered macrocytic. Like other types of anemia, macrocytic anemia means that the red blood cells also have low hemoglobin.
1. World Health Organization. Haemoglobin concentrations for the diagnosis of anaemia and assessment of severity
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