A number of processes can result in anemia. Identifying the cause of an anemia can help decide the most appropriate management strategy.


Mechanisms that can result in anemia:

(1) decreased production (aplasia, hypoplasia, dysplasia, displacement of precursors, ineffective erythropoiesis)

(2) increased blood loss (bleeding)

(3) decreased lifespan and/or increased destruction (intravascular or extravascular hemolysis)

(4) sequestration (hypersplenism, giant vascular malformation)


Conditions such as cirrhosis may cause anemia by multiple mechanisms (mixed).


Mechanism Contributing to the Anemia


decreased RBC production

treat the cause(s) of impaired red blood cell production


control sites of bleeding

increased destruction or shortened lifespan

treat the causes(s) of the hemolysis


attempt mobilization; possible resection of sequestering site if severe


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.