Profile of red blood cell morphologies and causes of anaemia among pregnant women at first clinic visit in the mount Cameroon area: a prospective cross sectional study.BMC Res Notes. 2017 Nov 29; 10(1):645.BR
Anaemia is a serious problem in pregnancy in malaria-endemic countries. This study investigated red cell morphologies and possible causes of anaemia among pregnant women at first clinic visit. Venous blood samples from consented women were used to determine haemoglobin (Hb) levels, mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) using an automated haematology analyzer. Malaria parasitaemia was diagnosed by microscopy. Definitions were as follows: anaemia (Hb < 11.0 g/dl), microcytosis (MCV < 78 fl), macrocytosis (MCV > 101 fl), hypochromasia (MCH < 27 pg), microcytic hypochromia or normocytic hypochromia with anaemia [iron deficiency anaemia (IDA)], normocytic normochromia with anaemia in the absence of malaria parasitaemia (physiological anaemia of pregnancy).
Of the 279 pregnant women enrolled, 57% had anaemia. Malaria parasitaemia was associated with 23.3% of anaemic cases while 76.7% were non-malaria related. The distribution of red cell alterations was as follows: hypochromasia (32.6%), microcytosis (14.7%) and macrocytosis (1.1%). The co-occurrence of malaria parasitaemia, iron deficiency and anaemia was seen in 23.3% of the women, iron deficiency anaemia only occurred in 35.9% while physiological anaemia of pregnancy was 40.9%. Iron deficiency and physiological anaemia of pregnancy contribute to a greater proportion of anaemia in the study area.