What are the signs and symptoms of macrocytosis?

Updated: Dec 16, 2018
  • Author: Vincent E Herrin, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

The symptoms of macrocytosis are attributable either to the anemia itself or to the underlying condition causing the anemia. They may include the following:

  • Dyspnea – This is a consequence of anemia; in acute or severe anemia, the volume of hemoglobin in the blood is inadequate to provide appropriate oxygenation of the tissues

  • Headache – This is a symptom of anemia due to decreased oxygenation of the tissues

  • Fatigue – This may be attributed to underlying disease, if present, or to inadequate blood volume

  • Sore tongue – This may reflect glossitis or atrophy of the tongue, which are common findings in folate and vitamin B-12 deficiencies [16]

  • Diarrhea or other gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms – These may be present in patients with tropical or celiac sprue; sprue may cause folate or vitamin B-12 deficiencies [17]

  • Paresthesia or gait disturbances – These suggest vitamin B-12 deficiency


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