iron-deficiency anemia

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to iron-deficiency anemia: iron deficiency anaemia

iron-deficiency anemia

An anemia due to ↓ Hb production due to ↓ iron; in idiopathic IDA, 62% of Pts have lesions of the upper, lower, or both ends of the GI tract causing iron deficiency–ie, blood loss Clinical FTT, ↑ infections Lab Hypochromia, microcytosis. See Anemia, iron.

iron-deficiency anemia

Abbreviation: IDA
Anemia resulting from a greater demand on stored iron supplies than can be provided. The erythrocyte count may sometimes be normal, but there is insufficient hemoglobin. Erythrocytes are hypochromic and show poikilocytosis. IDA is present in about 8% of men and 14% of women ages 3 to 74 years in the U.S.


IDA is caused by inadequate iron intake, malabsorption of iron, blood loss, pregnancy and lactation, intravascular hemolysis, or a combination of these factors.


Chronically anemic patients often complain of fatigue and dyspnea on exertion. Iron deficiency resulting from rapid bleeding, may produce palpitations, orthostatic dizziness, or syncope.


Laboratory studies reveal decreased iron levels in the blood, with elevated iron-binding capacity and a diminished transferrin saturation. Ferritin levels are low. The bone marrow does not show stainable iron.

Additional Diagnostic Studies

Adult nonmenstruating patients with IDA should be evaluated to rule out a source of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.


Dietary iron intake is supplemented with oral ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate (with vitamin C to increase iron absorption). Oral liquid iron supplements should be given through a straw to prevent staining of the teeth. Iron preparations cause constipation; laxatives or stool softeners should be considered as concomitant treatment. When underlying lesions are found in the gastrointestinal tract, e.g., ulcers, esophagitis, cancer of the colon, they are treated with medications, endoscopy, or surgery.


Parents should be warned to keep iron preparations away from children because three or four tablets may cause serious poisoning.
See also: anemia


a reduction below normal in the number or volume of erythrocytes or in the quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. Clinically it is manifested by weakness, exercise intolerance, hyperpnea which is only moderate, pallor of mucosae, tachycardia and a large increase in the intensity of the heart sounds. There are often accompanying signs related to the site of blood or hemoglobin loss.

aplastic anemia
a form of anemia generally unresponsive to specific antianemia therapy. It is often chronic, accompanied by granulocytopenia and thrombocytopenia, in which the bone marrow is usually acellular or hypoplastic. It may, however, be rapidly fatal. The term is actually all-inclusive and most probably encompasses several clinical syndromes. See pure red cell aplasia.
autoimmune hemolytic anemia
immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, which occurs in many species, particularly dogs, in which autoantibodies directed against red blood cells are produced. Different classes of immunoglobulins may be involved giving rise to differing clinical syndromes. Signs include pallor, lethargy, splenomegaly, and sometimes icterus, bilirubinuria and hemoglobinuria. There may also be an accompanying thrombocytopenia with bleeding tendencies. Diagnosis is based on a positive Coombs test.
avian infectious anemia
see chicken anemia.
blood loss anemia
see hemorrhagic anemia (below).
anemia of chronic disease
see anemia of inflammatory disease (below).
cold antibody anemia
an immune-mediated hemolytic anemia in which the antibody is maximally active at temperatures below 98.6°F (37°C). See also cold agglutinin disease.
cold (or cold water) anemia
a disease of cattle, especially calves, housed in warm barns and given near freezing water to drink. Dyspnea and the passage of red urine occur several hours after a large drink.
Coombs-positive anemia
immunoglobulin-mediated anemia that gives a positive reaction to Coombs tests, indicating the presence of immunoglobulins on the red cell surface. See also autoimmune hemolytic anemia (above), alloimmune hemolytic anemia of the newborn.
deficiency anemia
nutritional anemia.
drug-induced hemolytic anemia
some drugs such as quinine, quinidine, para-aminosalicylic acid, phenacetin, penicillin, insecticides, chlorpromazine, sulfonamides and dipyrone may be directly injurious to red cells or act to initiate an immune response in which red cells are destroyed.
familial nonspherocytic anemia of Basenji dogs
an inherited pyruvate kinase deficiency causes a hemolytic anemia with shortened red cell life span. In early stages, the disease is characterized by very active erythropoiesis but eventually, usually by the second or third year of life, a terminal myelofibrosis and osteosclerosis develops. The disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.
feline infectious anemia
see feline infectious anemia.
fragmentation anemia
see microangiopathic anemia (below).
Heinz body anemia
hemolytic anemia resulting from oxidation of globin and formation of Heinz bodies, which are seen in blood smears as dark refractile intracytoplasmic bodies and stain with new methylene blue. Some common causes are ingestion of onions and plants in the Brassicaeae family, phenazopyridine, methylene blue and acetaminophen (paracetamol). Cats are particularly susceptible to Heinz body formation.
hemolytic anemia
see hemolytic anemia.
hemorrhagic anemia
is caused by loss of whole blood. If this is very rapid hypovolemic shock develops. At a slower rate there is anemic anoxia and the animal is suffering from anemia. Called also blood loss anemia.
hypochromic anemia
anemia in which the decrease in hemoglobin is proportionately much greater than the decrease in number of erythrocytes.
hypoplastic anemia
anemia due to incapacity of blood-forming organs, i.e. inactivity of the bone marrow. See also aplastic anemia (above).
idiopathic immune anemia
see autoimmune hemolytic anemia (above).
infectious equine anemia
see equine infectious anemia.
anemia of inflammatory disease
a nonregenerative, usually mild, anemia that occurs in association with malignancy or chronic infection. Although other causes of anemia such as hemolysis and blood loss may also occur with these conditions, there is altered iron metabolism with decreased serum iron and iron-binding capacity but with increased iron storage that results in decreased erythropoiesis.
iron-deficiency anemia
a form characterized by low or absent iron stores, low serum iron concentration, low transferrin saturation, elevated transferrin (iron-binding capacity), low hemoglobin concentration or hematocrit, and hypochromic, microcytic red blood corpuscles, and thrombocytosis. See also iron.
isoimmune hemolytic anemia
see alloimmune hemolytic anemia of the newborn.
lizard viral anemia
produces inclusion bodies in erythrocytes, commonly mistaken for protozoan parasites.
macrocytic anemia
anemia in which the erythrocytes are much larger than normal. The MCV (mean corpuscular volume) and MCH (mean corpuscular hemoglobin) are increased and the MCHC (mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) is normal.
megaloblastic anemia
anemia characterized by the presence of megaloblasts in the bone marrow and macrocytic erythrocytes. It occurs in vitamin B12, cobalt and folic acid deficiencies and in some myeloproliferative disorders in cats.
microangiopathic anemia
anemia due to fragmentation of erythrocytes in blood vessels whose endothelium has been badly damaged, usually by an infectious disease such as septicemias, disseminated intravascular coagulation and salmonellosis. Called also fragmentation anemia.
microcytic anemia
anemia characterized by decrease in size of the erythrocytes.
myelopathic anemia, myelophthisic anemia
anemia due to destruction or crowding out of hematopoietic tissues by space-occupying lesions, neoplasms and fibrosis.
nonregenerative anemia
one occurring without an appropriate erythropoietic response by the bone marrow.
normochromic anemia
that in which the hemoglobin content of the red cells as measured by the MCHC and MCH is within the normal range.
normocytic anemia
the anemia in which the red blood cells are normal in size.
nutritional anemia
anemia due to a deficiency of an essential substance in the diet, which may be caused by poor dietary intake or by malabsorption; called also deficiency anemia. See also pyridoxine, vitamin b12, folic acid, copper, iron.
parasitic anemia
hemorrhagic anemia due to blood loss caused by blood-sucking parasites such as fleas, hookworms and Haemonchus contortus.
pernicious anemia
see pernicious anemia.
physiological anemia
the anemia which occurs as part of a natural event, e.g. in neonates.
piglet anemia
see iron nutritional deficiency.
primary immune anemia
see autoimmune hemolytic anemia (above).
regenerative anemia, responsive anemia
associated with active erythropoiesis with increased numbers of reticulocytes, nucleated red blood cells, anisocytosis and polychromasia in the peripheral blood.
spur-cell anemia
anemia in which the red cells have a bizarre spiculated shape and are destroyed prematurely, primarily in the spleen; it is an acquired form occurring in severe liver disease, and represents an abnormality in the cholesterol content of the red cell membrane.
unresponsive anemia
see nonregenerative anemia (above).
References in periodicals archive ?
9-15) Prospective studies have identified this disease as a cause of iron-deficiency anemia and gastrointestinal bleeding.
The purpose of this study was to prospectively evaluate the prevalence of adult celiac disease in patients presenting with iron-deficiency anemia and to investigate the causes of this anemia by performing upper endoscopy and colonoscopy in these patients.
All patients including those with positive fecal occult blood presenting to the endoscopy unit of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital during a 2-year period (March 1998-June 2000) for evaluation of iron-deficiency anemia were candidates for entry into this study.
One hundred thirty-nine consecutive patients with iron-deficiency anemia with or without hemoccult-positive stool were screened for the study.
8% of all patients with iron-deficiency anemia in this study.
95%) of the 105 patients presenting with iron-deficiency anemia, and this patient had hemoccult-negative stool.
Iron-deficiency anemia is frequently seen in patients with celiac disease.
The prevalence of celiac disease in patients presenting with iron-deficiency anemia varies from 0 to 5%.
Our study found a significant number of other gastrointestinal causes in patients presenting with iron-deficiency anemia who underwent upper and lower endoscopy as part of their workup.
The presence of a significant number of upper gastrointestinal lesions found and the presence of multiple findings in approximately one-third of the patients emphasizes the need to evaluate both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts in the workup of patients with iron-deficiency anemia with or without hemoccult-positive stools.
Endoscopic findings in 105 patients with iron-deficiency anemia (a) Finding Men Women Total (%) Upper endoscopic findings Gastritis 15 9 24 (22.
Our partnership with Heinz is a humanitarian initiative that appropriately links industry and public health in reducing a major global childhood problem such as iron-deficiency anemia.