Normocytic Anemia

Normocytic Anemia: Causes, Signs, and Symptoms
Authors: Katie Lin Yan Yu Reviewers: Andrew Brack Jessica Tjong Man-Chiu Poon* Lynn Savoie* * MD at time of publication
Aplastic anemia: hypo-proliferation of bone marrow RBC precursors
Anemia of Chronic Disease
↑ RBC sequestration within enlarged spleen
Acute bleeding
Hemolysis (infection, autoimmune, RBC structural defects)
↓ RBC production
↑ RBC destruction/elimination
Normocytic Anemia:
[Hgb] <120g/L in females, <140g/L in males, with the RBC mean corpuscular volume (MCV) still within the normal range: 80-100 fL RBCs that ultimately end up in the blood are still qualitatively normal/functional; there is a quantitative shortage of these RBCs in the blood relative to body needs Spurious/False normocytic anemia: Any fluid overload state (pregnancy, heart failure, kidney disease, etc.) can ↑ plasma volume which can dilute RBCs and cause apparent anemia, but the mean volume of each RBC is still normal Normocytic Anemia Heart needs to work faster to pump sufficient oxygenated blood to tissues ↑ Heart rate Reduced oxygen- carrying ability of blood Patient feels oxygen- deprived, needs to inhale more oxygen as compensation Dyspnea (shortness of breath) ↑ Respiratory rate (RR) Not enough oxygen being delivered to body tissues, including brain Fatigue Reduced absolute number of RBCs means less RBCs to color the blood red Pallor (especially conjunctival and palmar) Legend: Pathophysiology Mechanism Sign/Symptom/Lab Finding Complications Re-Published July 27, 2019 on