Anemia is defined as a state in which the hemoglobin level is below the normal range for the age and sex of the individual. Given below are the anemic values:

  • Newborn -<15g/dl
  • Adult males-<12g/dl
  • Adult females-<11g/dl


What is the function of the red blood cell?

Red blood cells deliver oxygen to various tissues of the body. Hemoglobin is a respiratory pigment present in the red blood cells. It carries oxygen to the tissues and carries CO2 from the tissues to the lungs. It consists of basic protein – globin and an iron -porphyrin complex -haem. A rise in the red cell concentration of 2,3 DPG, an intermediate product of glucose metabolism, occurs in anemia and hypoxia.


  • IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA: is due to low store of iron or deficiency of iron in the body. the main cause is due to increased blood loss, increased demands, inadequate dietary intake and decreased absorption.
  • ANEMIA OF THE CHRONIC DISEASE: occurs in patients of chronic infections such as endocarditis, tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, SLE, malignant disease and cause is due to non-mobilization of iron from the bone marrow, with the resulting iron gets stuck up in the marrow and is not available for the haemoglobination of the developing red cells.
  • SIDEROBLASTIC ANEMIA: is the type of anemia where sideroblasts are present in large number due to hereditary or acquired condition.
  • MEGALOBLASTIC ANEMIA: these are macrocytic anemias with megaloblasts in the bone marrow due to deficiency of either vitB12 or folic acid.
  • PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: is due to failure of secretion of the intrinsic factor by the stomach to digest the extrinsic factor and the cause is autoimmune antibodies to intrinsic factor.
  • HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA is abnormal excessive destruction of red cells that overwhelms the compensatory capacity of the bone marrow caused due to intra-corpuscular and extra-corpuscular defects.
  • THALASSEMIA: are genetically transmitted disorders of the reduced rate of synthesis of one or more of the globin polypeptide chains.
  • APLASTIC ANEMIA: is a failure of the stem cells to a varying degree producing hypoplasia of the bone marrow elements which is caused due to idiopathic or secondary causes.


  • Nutrition
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Malabsorption
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypoproteinemia
  • Hemolysis
  • Leukemia
  • Chronic infections
  • Chronic bloodless


  • Fatigue
  • Pallor of skin, mucous membrane, tongue, conjunctiva
  • Dizziness
  • Weight loss
  • Personality changes
  • Mental disorientation
  • Numbness
  • Tinnitus
  • Insomnia
  • Vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Amenorrhea
  • Loss of libido
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Palpitation
  • Angina in older patients
  • Throbbing in head and ears



  • Hemoglobin count
  • Red cell count
  • MCV, MCHC count
  • Reticulocyte count
  • WBC count
  • Platelet count
  • ESR
  • Blood film
  • Bone marrow
  • Serum iron
  • TIBC
  • Serum ferritin


  • IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA: includes oral iron therapy like ferrous sulfate tablets and parenteral iron therapy that includes iron sorbitol and iron dextran.
  • MEGALOBLASTIC ANEMIA: Hydroxocobalamin parenterally with 5mg of folic acid once a week.
  • HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA: splenectomy with blood transfusion.
  • THALASSEMIA: transfusion to maintain hemoglobin between 8-10mg/dl by desferrioxamine.
  • HYPOPLASTIC ANEMIA: blood transfusion, antibiotics, immunosuppressive therapy, ALG, cyclosporine

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