Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic Anemia: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis - scoopremarks

Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic Anemia: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis


A condition in which the blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells.


Anemia is a major killer in India .One in every maternal deaths is directly due to anemia. Anemia affects both adults and children of both sexes , although pregnant women and adolescent girls are most susceptible and most affected by this disease.


Anemia is the decrease in the RBC count , haemoglobin and /or Hematocrit values resulting in the lower ability from the blood to carry oxygen to blood tissue .


  • Poor socio-economic class
  • Multiparity
  •  Teenage pregnancy
  • Menstrual problems


Anemia is classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the concentrations of hemoglobin in the blood.

there are three major types of anemia, classified according to the size of the red blood cells

1. Iron deficiency anemia.

2. Vitamin B12 / folic acid deficiency anemia (Megaloblastic anemia )

a) Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia

b) Folic acid deficiency anemia

3. Aplastic anaemia.

4. Haemolytic anemia.

5.Congenital hemolytic anemia.

a) Sickle cell anemia

b) Thalassemia anemia.


Too few healthy red blood cells due to too little iron in the body.

  • Most common form of anemia in many parts of the world .
  • Caused due to excessive loss of iron.
  • RBC count is often normal but cells are small , pale,contain less haemoglobin than normal .
  • Dietary iron comes from red meat and highly coloured vegetable.
  • Men require 1-2 mg of iron, whereas women require 3 mg of iron per day .
  • Women are at risk as due to continuous menstruation and foetal growth.


Megaloblastic anemia is a condition in which the bone marrow produces unusually large, structurally abnormal, immature red blood cells

  • Deficiency of vitamin B12 and /or Folic acid impairs erythrocyte maturation.
  • Abnormally large erythrocytes are found in blood .
  • When deficiency of vitamin B12 and /or folic acid occurs , the rate of RNA and DNA synthesis is reduced , delaying cell division . The cell therefore grows larger then the normal cell division .
  •  The haemoglobin contend of each cell is normal or raised .
  • The cells are fragile and their life span is reduced to between 40 – 50 days .


  • Most common form of vitamin B12 deficiency .
  • Commonest in women over 50 .
  • It is an autoimmune disease in which auto antibodies destroy intrinsic factor (IF) and parietal cells in the stomach .
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency occur in gastrectomy , chronic gastritis , malabsorption .


  • Deficiency of folic acid causes a form of megaloblastic anemia identical to that in vitamin B12 deficiency , but not associated with neurological damage .
  • Occurs due to malabsorption from jejunum .
  •  Due to prolonged loss of use of anticonvulsant drug and cytotoxic drugs.


A rare condition in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells.

  •  Results in bone marrow failure .
  • Erythrocyte number is reduced.
  • Since the bone marrow also produce leukocytes and platelets, leukopenia (low white cell count ) and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count ) are also likely.
  • Caused due to cytotoxin therapy , ionization radiation.
  • Viral diseases including hepatitis .
  • Some chemicals example benzene.


Runners can suffer hemolytic anemia due to “footstrike hemolysis”, owing to the destruction of red blood cells in feet at foot impact.

  • Circulation red cells are destroyed or are removed prematurely from the blood because the cells are abnormal or the spleen is overactive.
  • Homolysis takes place in the liver or spleen so the normal erythrocyte life span of about 120 days can be considerably shortened.
  • May be due to parasites , toxins etc.
  • Hemolytic jaundice can cause additional symptoms such as jaundice or spleenomegaly.


Genetic abnormality leads to the synthesis of abnormal haemoglobin and increased red cell membrane fragility , reducing their O2 carrying capacity . Most common forms are :


  • The abnormal haemoglobin molecules become misshapen when deoxygenated , making the erythrocytes sickle shaped .
  • The life span of cells is reduced by early hemolysis , which causes anaemia.
  • Sickle cells do not move smoothly through the circulation .They obstract blood flow , leading to intravenous clotting , tissue ischemia and infarction .
  • Black people are more affected than other .


  • The inherited condition commonest in Mediterranean countries .
  • Causes abnormal haemoglobin haemoglobin production , which in turn reduces erythropoiesis and stimulates hemolysis .
  • severe form can be life threatening .


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1 Response

  1. Kingstuntz says:

    Helpful info… Thanks for this

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