Fast Five Quiz: How Familiar Are You With Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Emmanuel C. Besa, MD; Derek B. Laskar, MD


January 10, 2018

Examination of the peripheral blood smear is an important part of the workup of patients with anemia. The erythrocyte morphology reveals microcytosis and hypochromia in chronic iron deficiency anemia. The microcytosis is apparent in the smear long before the mean corpuscular volume is decreased after an event producing iron deficiency. Platelets may be increased in response to elevated erythropoietin levels.

Unlike in the thalassemias, target cells are usually not present, and anisocytosis and poikilocytosis are not marked. This condition lacks the intraerythrocytic crystals seen in hemoglobin C disorders.

For more on the workup of iron deficiency, read here.


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