Normocytic Anaemia

Normocytic Anaemia

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Pathology:  Haemolysis, also known as shortened red cell life span, is caused by an increased rate of destruction of red blood cells.


Aetiology:  The aetiology of haemolysis can be either congenital or acquired.

  • Congenital
  • Membrane: Hereditary Spherocytosis
  • Enzyme: G6PD Deficiency, Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency
  • Hb Defect: Sickle Cell, Thalassaemia
  • Acquired
  • Immune: Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia, Incompatible Transfusion
  • Mechanical: Microangiopathic Haemolytic Anaemia, Prosthetic Heart Valve
  • Infection: Malaria
  • Drugs: Dapsone, Amylnitrate


Symptoms:              Fatigue, shortness of breath, haemoglobinuria


Signs:                Pallor, jaundice, and features of the underlying condition associated with the cause of haemolysis.


Investigations:          Laboratory tests may be conducted in order to investigate the cause of haemolysis, including raised unconjugated bilirubin, raised lactate dehydrogenase, reduced serum haptoglobin, reticulocytosis, spherocytes, target cells, schistocytes, and increased urinary bilinogen.


Treatment:                  Treatment of haemolysis may include medical aspects, such as treating the cause of haemolysis, administering folic acid, steroids, and/or a blood transfusion.


Complications:          The complications associated with haemolysis depends on the underlying cause.


Prognosis:                  Generally, the prognosis for haemolysis is good.

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