Next time you need to quickly think of possible causes of your patient’s microcytic anemia, use “TAILS”.
Causes of Microcytic Anemia (MCV < 80)
Defects of globin synthesis
Defects of iron metabolism
Iron refractory iron deficiency anemia
Divalent metal transporter mutations
Iron deficiency anemia
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with acquired thalassemia
Sideroblastic anemias due to drugs or toxins (lead poisoning, alcohol, drugs)
Copper deficiency (some cases)
The two most common causes are Thalassemia syndromes and Iron deficiency anemia.