Certain conditions may contribute to a false positive or false negative diagnosis of anemia.

Causes of a false positive diagnosis of anemia:

(1) specimen collection near an intravenous infusion line

(2) expanded intravascular volume (hemodilution)

(3) iatrogenic (excessive blood testing)

(4) in vitro hemolysis


Causes of a false negative diagnosis ("masking"):

(1) polycythemia (erythrocytosis)

(2) recent transfusion

(3) hemoconcentration

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