Hypochromia

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Definition

Hypochromia means that the red blood cells have less color than normal when examined under a microscope. This usually occurs when there is not enough of the pigment that carries oxygen (hemoglobin) in the red blood cells.

The most common cause of hypochromia in the United States is not enough iron in the body (iron deficiency). If it is not treated, this can lead to a disorder called iron deficiency anemia.

The cause of hypochromia should be evaluated by your health care provider.

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Hypochromia

References

Brittenham GM. Disorders of iron homeostasis: iron deficiency and overload. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 36.

Ginder GD. Microcytic and hypochromic anemias. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 159.

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