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Megaloblastic anemia


Definition:

Megaloblastic anemia is a blood disorder in which there is anemia with larger-than-normal red blood cells.

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.

Alternative Names:

Anemia - megaloblastic

Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Megaloblastic anemia is usually caused by a deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12.

Other less common causes are:

Risk factors relate to the causes.

See also:

Symptoms:

See:

Signs and tests:

For testing information, see:

Treatment:

The first goal is to diagnose the cause of the anemia. The treatment depends on the cause. Anemias related to specific vitamin deficiencies are discussed separately.

See:

References:

Antony AC. Megoblastic anemias. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Shattil SS, et al., eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 39.

Kaferie J, Strzoda CE. Evaluation of macrocytosis. Am Fam Physician. 2009;79:203-208.


Review Date: 5/9/2011
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital (1/31/2010).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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