Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Anisocytosis refers to abnormality in red blood cell (RBC) size. This typically means that blood tested would show blood cells of varying sizes instead of all them appearing relatively uniform. The condition tends to be more a symptom of other diseases, though outward symptoms of the illness usually are similar, no matter the cause. Treatment, on the other hand, can be different, depending on causal factors.
There are many different illnesses or medical conditions that may result in anisocytosis. Many of these are anemic conditions, which affect red blood cell production. Some varying anemic illnesses that may cause variation in blood cell size include sideroblastic anemia, congenital dyserythropoietic anemia, congenital forms of anemia, and thalassemia. Certain vitamin or mineral deficiencies may also affect the way red blood cells are produced, and people with iron, vitamin B12 or vitamin A deficiency can get anisocytosis.
Other causes may include:
Blood transfusion - the host and infused blood cells having different sizes.
Iron deficiency anemia, especially if mixed with folate deficiency.
Other circumstances might be responsible for causing this condition may include: Sometimes people get it after they have a blood transfusion. If the transfused red blood cells are smaller or larger than those of the person receiving the transfusion, anisocytosis may result, but is usually temporary.
When people have anisocytosis, they may have a variety of symptoms. The most obvious of these can be tiredness or exhaustion. People may also get breathless easily. Some folks also suffer from pounding or rapid heartbeat.
The three symptoms above principally arise from the fact that the size differences of red blood cells mean oxygen is carried with less efficiency to the body's tissues. Other symptoms reflect this poorer oxygen carrying ability too. People may have notable paleness of the skin, eyeballs, and nail beds. It's observable that many of these symptoms are identical to a number of forms of anemia symptoms, or to conditions like heart failure.
Anisocytosis is diagnosed when the RDW (red blood cells distribution width) levels in a blood test indicate excessively high values of variably shaped red blood cells. In the book "Diagnostic Hematology," author Norman Beck explains that the presence of anisocytosis in a diagnostic blood test is so common that it is often dismissed as a component while making a diagnosis. But, breakthroughs in medicine have shed new light on the importance of anisocytosis during patient evaluation. When anisocytosis is measured against other blood cell values, the high RBC values can help make a better determination of the type of anemia present in a patient.
Normal RDW values are between 11 and 14 percent, with an optimum RDW value range of 13 percent. When RDW values rise above normal levels, several disorders become suspect. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, RDW counts may also play an important role in predicting mortality, especially in patients who have cardiovascular disease and cancer. In fact, patients who test higher than the normal reference range on an RDW test may suffer more health risks than those patients whose RDW values are lower.
As previously mentioned, treatment is highly individualized to underlying condition causing anisocytosis. Basic anemia that results in unusual differences in red blood cell size might be treated with iron supplementation. A vitamin deficiency would be corrected with the appropriate vitamin in supplement form. The degree to which anisocytosis is treatable depends fully on its cause. With severe illnesses that are incurable, eliminating red blood cell size differences may be impossible.
NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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