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A 43-year-old member asked:

Help docs! i'm trying to find out what causes enlarged red blood cells?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Thompson
Hematology and Oncology 20 years experience
Vitamin Def, etc: Macro(=large)cytosis(=cells) of red blood cells (rbcs) can be caused by many things. The most common is deficiencies of folate (folic acid) or vitamin b12. Those levels can be tested in the blood as well as with the tests homocysteine (hcy) and methylmalonic acid (mma). Other causes can include reticulocytes (early, young , large rbcs in the blood), dysplasia (eg myelodysplastic syndrome, mds) and other causes.
Dr. Agos Luca
Specializes in Pathology
Multiple reasons: Macrocytosis (larger than normal red blood cells) can have multiple causes including: vitamin b-12/folate deficiency, myelodysplastic syndromes, aplastic anemia, alcoholism, leukemia, vitamin c deficiency, vitamin e deficiency, certain medications (chemotherapy), chronic infections, genetic disorders, liver disease, splenectomy, thyroid disorders, hemorrhage, hemolytic anemia, malaria.

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Similar questions

A 51-year-old member asked:

What can cause red blood cells to be improperly formed?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Depends: What do you mean by improperly formed? Spherocytosis is due to defect ina membrane protein. Hemoglobinopathies can also result in abnormal shapes. Angiopathic anemia is another cause. Iron, folate and B12 deficiencies could also result in abnormal size and shape.
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A 42-year-old female asked:

What causes red blood cells to be small and abnormal?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Lack of iron: Iron deficiency is commonest cause of small red cells. Visit this site for more info: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007305.htm

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Last updated Feb 20, 2016

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