How do you test for megaloblastic anemia?

What does megaloblastic mean?

Megaloblasts are large nucleated red blood cells. (See the image below.) Vitamin B12 deficiency (eg, pernicious anemia), folic acid deficiency, and certain medications are the most common causes of megaloblastic anemia, a macrocytic anemia.

Who is at risk for megaloblastic anemia?

Common risk factors of megaloblastic anemia include nutritional factors, alcoholism, elderly, pregnant, vegans, and malabsorptive syndromes.

What are the two main causes types of megaloblastic anemia?

The two most common causes of megaloblastic anemia are deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folate. These two nutrients are necessary for producing healthy RBCs.

What is another name for megaloblastic anemia?

Pernicious anemia is one of two major types of «macrocystic» or «megaloblastic» anemia. These terms refer to anemia in which the red blood cells are larger than normal.

What lab values indicate megaloblastic anemia?

Laboratory findings of megaloblastic anemia are:
  • MCV is increased to 110 to 115 fl, where the normal value is 77 to 93 fl. …
  • MCH is slightly increased where the normal value is 27 to 32 pg.
  • MCHC is within normal limits where the normal value is 20 to 25 g/dl.
  • Low hemoglobin.

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly?

The most common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency in seniors include:
  • Fatigue.
  • Anemia.
  • Neuropathy.
  • Memory problems.
  • Walking difficulties.

What is the difference between pernicious anemia and megaloblastic anemia?

Pernicious anemia is a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the intestines cannot properly absorb vitamin B12. This picture shows large, dense, oversized, red blood cells (RBCs) that are seen in megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia can occur when there is a deficiency of vitamin B-12.

Is megaloblastic anemia inherited?

This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern , which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.

What is the difference between megaloblastic anemia and macrocytic anemia?

Megaloblastic anemia is caused by deficiency or impaired utilization of vitamin B12 and/or folate, whereas nonmegaloblastic macrocytic anemia is caused by various diseases such as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), liver dysfunction, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, certain drugs, and by less commonly inherited disorders of …

Can megaloblastic anemia be fatal?

When your body can’t make enough healthy red blood cells because it lacks vitamin B-12, you have pernicious anemia (PA). A long time ago, this disorder was believed to be fatal (“pernicious” means deadly). These days it’s easily treated with B-12 pills or shots. With treatment, you’ll be able to live without symptoms.

What does low B12 feel like?

Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas. Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking. Vision loss. Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes.