Anemias in Thai patients with cirrhosis.Int J Hematol 1997; 65(4):365-73IJ
Anemia is a frequent complication in patients with cirrhosis. Only one study has been previously reported regarding the etiology of anemias in Thai cirrhotic patients. The diagnosis of iron deficiency in the study however was not based on standard criteria. Herein we report the frequency and hematological manifestations of various causes of anemias diagnosed by using gold standard criteria in 72 consecutive Thai cirrhotic patients. The diagnosis of cirrhosis was based on the characteristic clinical features and the ultrasonographic findings. The median age of the patients was 49 years; male:female was 1:1.3. The mean hemoglobin value was 8.3 g/dl and the mean MCV was 96.6 fl. Most patients revealed macrocytosis, normal WBC count and mild thrombocytopenia. Iron deficiency, defined as absent bone marrow iron stores, was the most common anemia found in 40% of the patients while folate deficiency, diagnosed when red cell folate was < 160 ng/ml packed RBC, was documented in 10% of the patients. Megaloblastosis, hemolysis and anemia of chronic disease was found in 4%, 28% and 13% of the patients, respectively. Folate deficiency was significantly more common in the alcoholic patients (P = 0.01). Iron deficiency was thus the most common anemia in Thai patients with cirrhosis. The frequency of folate deficiency was not rare and the rate was comparable to data reported from western countries in spite of the Thai diet being relatively rich in folates.