Immunology

Study reframes understanding of graft-versus-host disease

New research challenges the prevailing hypothesis for how donor stem cell grafts cause graft-versus-host disease, or GVHD, and offers an alternative model that could guide development of novel therapies.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Anemia is undertreated in adults with low kidney function

In an analysis of outpatient data from over 5 million adults, hemoglobin level measured < 10 g/dl in more than 20% with advanced kidney disease, but less than 4% were treated with erythpoiesis-stimulating agents, and iron ...

Gerontology & Geriatrics

Older people with anemia and weak muscles face higher risk of dying

A study by researchers at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) in Brazil and University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom shows that a combination of anemia and weak muscles in older people heightens the ...

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Anemia

Anemia (pronounced /əˈniːmiə/, also spelled anaemia or anæmia; from Ancient Greek ἀναιμία anaimia, meaning "lack of blood") is a decrease in normal number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin deficiency.

Since hemoglobin (found inside RBCs) normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences.

The three main classes of anemia include excessive blood loss (acutely such as a hemorrhage or chronically through low-volume loss), excessive blood cell destruction (hemolysis) or deficient red blood cell production (ineffective hematopoiesis).

Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few.

There are two major approaches: the "kinetic" approach which involves evaluating production, destruction and loss, and the "morphologic" approach which groups anemia by red blood cell size. The morphologic approach uses a quickly available and cheap lab test as its starting point (the MCV). On the other hand, focusing early on the question of production may allow the clinician more rapidly to expose cases where multiple causes of anemia coexist.

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