What is the diagnostic significance of anemia in the evaluation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Apr 10, 2020
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Anemia is common and may be either an anemia of chronic disease (usually normal mean corpuscular volume [MCV]) or an iron deficiency anemia (MCV is often low). Anemia may result from acute or chronic blood loss, malabsorption (iron, folate, and vitamin B12) or may reflect the chronic disease state. Note that the MCV can be elevated in patients taking azathioprine (Imuran) or 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP). Generally, the platelet count is normal, or it may be elevated in the setting of active inflammation.

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