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Key words: Anemia, Hemoglobin, Reticulocyte
Most forms of anemias in childhood are easy to diagnose. A decreased mean corpuscolar volume (MCV) is due to reduced hemoglobin synthesis and suggests iron deficiency or thalassemia. Anemia with a normal MCV is mainly due to hemolysis or hemorrhage. In each case the clinical presentation and/or the patient history is indicative of diagnosis. Normal or high MCV with low levels of reticulocytes are found in hyporegenerative anemias (congenital or acquired) and in several chronic disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure and cancer. Macrocytosis is relevant in children feeded with vegan diet or treated with anti-folate drugs or affected by hypothyroidism. The aim of this article is to help the pediatrician with the diagnosis of the different forms of childhood anemias, with a focus on their pathogenesis
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