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A 48-year-old member asked:

Why is iron deficiency anemia a microcytic anemia?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 24 years experience
Microcytic: Iron is needed in order for the body to produce hemoglobin (hb) -a substance in red blood cells (rbc) that enables them to carry oxygen.Without hb, RBC will not be able to transport blood to tissues. Microcytosis means the presence of rbcs with a MCV (volume of average rbc) less than normal--smaller rbc. In iron deficiency- there is decreased hb content within the rbc, so it is smaller /microcytic.
Dr. Rishi Kumar
Dr. Rishi Kumaranswered
Anesthesiology 9 years experience
Decreased Hemoglobin: Red blood cells (rbcs) are essentially little bags carrying lots of hemoglobin (hb). Iron is an important constituent of the hb molecule. Low iron = low hemoglobin = less packing into rbc. Since the RBC is now filled less, a microcytic anemia results.

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Last updated May 13, 2019

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