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Managing pernicious anaemia

Dr Harry Brown provides insight into the basics of vitamin B12 metabolism to help explain
pernicious anaemia, its diagnosis, and treatment

Before looking specifically at the condition of pernicious anaemia, it is useful to look at the definitions of the various types of anaemia and understand the basics of vitamin B12 metabolism. Anaemia is defined when there is a reduction of the amount of haemoglobin within the blood, taking into account the person's age and whether they are male or female.

It helps to define anaemia with reference to the size of the red blood cells and the mean corpuscular volume (MCV). Small cells are called microcytes and associated with a low MCV and acommon cause is iron deficiency.Large cells are called macrocytesand they are associated with a high MCV.

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