There are many potential explanations to anemia in a patient with an infection.


Key groups:

(1) anemia unrelated to an infection or the drugs used to treat the infection (malnutrition, etc)

(2) anemia causally linked to an infection

(3) anemia due to the drugs used to treat the infection


Anemia linked to infection:

(1) anemia of infection (anemia of chronic disease)

(2) immune hemolysis

(3) non-immune hemolysis (mechanical, toxin-related, etc)

(4) TTP, microangiopathic hemolysis

(5) hemophagocytosis

(6) suppression of hematopoietic progenitors

(7) iron deficiency

(8) bleeding


Anemia associated with drugs used to treat infection:

(1) immune hemolysis

(2) oxidative hemolysis in a patient with red cell enzyme deficiency

(3) pure red cell aplasia

(4) megaloblastic anemia

(5) sideroblastic anemia

(6) suppression of erythropoietin production

(7) suppression of hematopoietic progenitors


Management of the anemia usually requires identification of the cause(s).


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