Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Anemia may contribute to the spread of dengue fever

Mosquitoes are more likely to acquire the dengue virus when they feed on blood with low levels of iron, researchers report in the 16 September issue of Nature Microbiology. Supplementing people's diets with iron in places ...

Medical research

Helping transplanted stem cells stick around and do their jobs

Bone marrow transplants of hematopoietic stem cells have become standard treatment for a host of conditions including cancers of the blood and lymphatic systems, sickle cell anemia, inherited metabolic disorders, and radiation ...

Medical research

Sickle cell disease needs more attention

The promise of new treatments for sickle cell disease, a group of inherited red blood cell disorders, has never been so great, but it will only be realized if there is constant investment in health policies such as programs ...

Health

Are you running short on iron?

(HealthDay)—Could you—or your teenage daughter—have an iron deficiency and not know it? If you're getting enough sleep, but still feel tired, running low on iron could be the problem.

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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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