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Symptoms » Anemia » Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic Tests for Anemia

Diagnostic Test list for Anemia:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Anemia includes:

  • Physical examination - looking for signs of anemia e.g. pallor of skin, nail beds and sclera of eyes, increased pulse rate, heart murmur and if severe swollen ankles and cardiac failure.
  • Signs of jaundice - e.g. yellow skin , yellow sclera; may indicate hemolytic anemia, pernicious anemia , alcoholic cirrhosis.
  • Looking for possible causes of anemia - e.g. signs of chronic liver failure , neurological signs suggesting possible pernicious anemia.
  • Blood tests - Full blood count looking at size of red blood cells which helps diagnose type of.
  • Anemia - e.g. if small size likely iron deficiency or thallasaemia ; if large cell size likely Vitamin B12 deficiency ,folate deficiency, drug toxicity; if normal cell size can be chronic disease , hemolysis, renal failure.
  • Hemoglobin level - to establish severity of anemia.
  • Bilirubin level - to detect jaundice.
  • Liver function tests to detect liver disease such as alcoholic cirrhosis
  • Iron studies - to detect iron deficiency ( i.e. low serum iron and ferritin , high transferring).
  • Vitamin B12 and folate levels - to detect deficiency.
  • Haptoglobin - reduced levels in hemolysis , Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency, severe hemorrhage.
  • Thallasaemia screen by Hemoglobin electrophoresis - if small red cell size is out of proportion to mild anemia.
  • Stool examination - for occult blood to detect gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Bone marrow examination - if more information is required to establish diagnosis.

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Anemia causes:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Anemia:

A complete blood count (CBC), a laboratory test performed on a sample of your blood, includes a determination of your hematocrit (Hct), the percentage of the blood that consists of red blood cells. The CBC also measures the amount of Hgb in your blood. The range of normal Hct and Hgb in women who menstruate is slightly lower than for healthy men or healthy postmenopausal women. The Hgb is usually about one-third the value of the Hct. (Source: excerpt from Anemia in Kidney Disease and Dialysis: NIDDK)

If you have lost at least half of normal kidney function (serum creatinine greater than 2 mg/dL) and have a low Hct, the most likely cause of anemia is decreased EPO production. The National Kidney Foundation's Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (DOQI) recommends that doctors begin a detailed evaluation of anemia in men and postmenopausal women on dialysis when the Hct value falls below 37 percent. For women of childbearing age, evaluation should begin when the Hct falls below 33 percent. The evaluation will include tests for iron deficiency and blood loss in the stool to be certain there are no other reasons for the anemia.

When To Evaluate Dialysis Patients for Anemia
Hematocrit (Hct) Hemoglobin (Hgb)
Women who menstruate less than 33% less than 11 g/dL
All men and postmenopausal women less than 37% less than 12 g/dL
Source: The National Kidney Foundation's Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative. (Source: excerpt from Anemia in Kidney Disease and Dialysis: NIDDK)

Anemia is diagnosed by a blood test, either by a fingerstick in a physician's office, or by a blood test done in a laboratory. (Source: excerpt from Anemia: NWHIC)

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Anemia:

The following list of conditions have 'Anemia' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Anemia:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Anemia' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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