Microcytic Anemia

Microcytic Anemia

Next time you need to quickly think of possible causes of your patient’s microcytic anemia, use “TAILS”.


Causes of Microcytic Anemia (MCV < 80)

Hereditary disorders

Defects of globin synthesis
Thalassemia syndromes
Thalassemic hemoglobinopathies

Defects of iron metabolism
Iron refractory iron deficiency anemia
Divalent metal transporter mutations
Sideroblastic anemia


Acquired disorders

Iron deficiency anemia
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with acquired thalassemia
Sideroblastic anemias due to drugs or toxins (lead poisoning, alcohol, drugs)
Copper deficiency (some cases)
Zinc deficiency


The two most common causes are Thalassemia syndromes and Iron deficiency anemia.


Dr. Ricks is a native Texan, born in Liberty Texas. He graduated from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and has been a medical doctor for 42 years. Specializing in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Hospital Care (Hospitalist). He has produced numerous medical educational videos for aspiring school students and the general public. Dr. Ricks is currently sharing his experience as a physician with other healthcare professionals to improve their relationship with patients, patient satisfaction, and patient retention.

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