Erythrocytes: Anemias in Chronic Liver Diseases.Hematology 2000; 5(1):69-76H
Anemia is a frequently observed manifestation during the clinical course of chronic liver disease. In this study, we retrospectively reviewed the hospital files of 500 chronic liver disease patients and assessed the frequency, etiology and morphology of anemia in 50 patients who fulfilled the criteria to be included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 48+/-16 years and male/female ratio was 1.4/1. The mean hemoglobin value was 9.54+/-2.03 g/dl. The mean MCV was 82.9+/-10.52 fl. Iron deficiency anemia, defined as absent bone marrow iron stores, was the most common anemia present in 50% of patients. Classical laboratory criteria used in the diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia (MCV < 80 fl, ferritin < 10 ng/ml) could not be applicable to all of the patients with iron deficiency anemia and hepatic disorders. Hemolytic anemia due to hypersplenism was the second most common anemia (24%) followed by anemias, namely anemia due to gastrointestinal hemorrhage (22%), anemia of chronic disease (8%), beta-thalassemia major (8%), folate deficiency (6%), vitamin B12 deficiency (4%), macrocytic anemia (2%), aplastic anemia (2%) and immune hemolytic anemia (2%). Twenty-eight percent of the patients had more than a single cause of anemia. Morphologically, microcytic anemia was the most common seen in 46% of the patients followed by normocytic (42%) and macrocytic anemia (12%). As patients do not always present with classical laboratory findings and may have more than a cause of anemia, a complex diagnostic approach should be considered in anemic patients with hepatic disorders.