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Alternative Names Return to topAnemia - megaloblastic
Definition Return to top
Megaloblastic anemia is a blood disorder in which there is anemia with larger-than-normal red blood cells.
Causes Return to top
Megaloblastic anemia is usually caused by a deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12. Other causes are:
Risk factors relate to the causes.
See also: Pernicious anemia
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Examination of the nervous system may show:
Treatment Return to top
The first goal is to diagnose the cause of the anemia. The treatment depends on the cause. Anemias related to specific vitamin deficiencies are discussed separately.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The outcome depends on the cause of the anemia.
Possible Complications Return to top
Complications vary with the cause of the anemia.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of this condition.
Prevention Return to top
Getting enough vitamin B12 and folic acid is helpful.
References Return to top
Antony AC. Megoblastic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 170.Update Date: 11/23/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.