Anemias are one of the most common conditions you'll face, almost regardless of your specialty. They can be challenging to understand at first, with many variables to consider and many possible diagnoses. As a physician, anemias are often the first indication you will have of some otherwise undetected disease process, so it is very much to your advantage to have a reliable method for working them up.

We've tried to create a concise method to help you think about anemia. It is not foolproof, but it should help you to reach a correct diagnosis (or at least move you in the right direction) most of the time.

Please be aware that this is an enormous area, given a couple of hundred pages in Harrison's, so please take this page for the incomplete document that it is. Be sure to consult Harrison's or the reference of your choice, for a more detailed understanding of any condition you may be treating or about which you may be learning.

Diagnoses are underlined and maroon. Diagnostic methods are bold and red.

Getting Started

Is it anemia? NOTE: All ranges are given as average normals for adults.