|Classification and external resources|
Microcytic anaemia is any of several types of anemia characterized by small red blood cells (called microcytes). The normal mean corpuscular volume (abbreviated to MCV on full blood count results) is 80-100 fL, with smaller cells (<80 fL) described as microcytic and larger cells (>100 fL) as macrocytic (the latter occur in macrocytic anemia).The MCV is the average red blood cell size.
In microcytic anemia, the red blood cells (erythrocytes) are usually also hypochromic, meaning that the red blood cells appear paler than usual. This is reflected by a lower-than-normal mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), a measure representing the amount of haemoglobin per unit volume of fluid inside the cell; normally about 320-360 g/L or 32-36 g/dL. Typically, therefore, anemia of this category is described as "microcytic, hypochromic anaemia".
Typical causes of microcytic anemia include:
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