What are the effects of a low reticulocyte count, folic acid deficiency, or a vitamin B-12 deficiency in anemia and why are patients with pediatric HIV at risk for these deficiencies?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

A low reticulocyte count indicates bone marrow suppression, ineffective erythropoiesis, or a myelophthisic process. Vitamin B-12 or folic acid deficiency produces a high mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and indirect bilirubin level. Patients with HIV are especially at risk for these deficiencies because of poor nutrition and poor small-bowel function. As many as 33% of patients with HIV have a negative vitamin B-12 balance.


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