Problems in diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia.Pediatr Ann 1985; 14(9):618, 622-3, 627 passimPA
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in children and is widespread in childhood populations throughout the world. Although many sophisticated tests have been devised for the diagnosis of iron deficiency the most reliable criterion of iron deficiency anemia is the hemoglobin response to an adequate therapeutic trial of iron. Following the reticulocytosis peak hemoglobin rises at an average of 0.25 to 0.4 g/dl/day and hematocrit at a rate of 1% per day. If the response to iron falls short of this response other causes of the anemia should be sought by detailed hematologic investigation. In addition to making a diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia it is incumbent on the physician to demonstrate its cause.