JOURNAL ARTICLE

Limitations of red blood cell distribution width (RDW) in evaluation of microcytosis

M M Flynn, T S Reppun, N V Bhagavan
American Journal of Clinical Pathology 1986, 85 (4): 445-9
3953499
The red blood cell distribution width (RDW) has been proposed as an additional variable that would improve the initial classification of anemia. Microcytic anemias with an elevated RDW (greater heterogeneity) were used to distinguish iron deficiency from heterozygous thalassemia, which was said to have a normal RDW (more homogeneous). The authors attempted to classify their population of microcytic cases using the RDW as a major variable, but found only limited utility. While most of the iron-deficient cases had an increased RDW, almost one-half of the thalassemia cases also were classified as microcytic heterogeneous (increased RDW). The authors also found that target cells, erythrocytosis, and the ratios alone or in combination with the RDW were not specific in separating heterozygous thalassemia from iron deficiency. They conclude that a sequential evaluation (to include iron and hemoglobin studies) of cases of microcytosis is still needed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
3953499
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"