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Pediatr Clin North Am. 1996 Jun;43(3):623-37.

The anemia of inflammation. A common cause of childhood anemia.

Author information

  • Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Abstract

Pediatricians should understand that the anemia of inflammation is second only to iron deficiency in overall incidence. When evaluating a child for mild to moderate anemia, one should always consider hemolytic anemia, both immune and congenital, and blood loss. Careful scrutiny of the peripheral blood smear is always helpful and can assist in minimizing expensive and unnecessary evaluations. When the anemia of inflammation is suggested by history or physical examination and the CBC reveals a normocytic, or possibly microcytic, mild to moderate anemia with a normal peripheral blood smear, it is prudent to not embark on an extensive evaluation for the anemia but instead wait for the inflammation to resolve. This may take as many as 3 months, depending on the degree of inflammation. Because the anemia resolves with subsiding inflammation, it is best to avoid treatment with iron or RBC transfusions. More studies need to be performed concerning the pathogenesis of the anemia of acute inflammation in children and the best course of treatment, if needed. The role of erythropoietin in the treatment of this form of anemia, though promising in some adult models of inflammation, awaits exploration in pediatric patients.

PMID:
8649902
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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