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Megaloblastic anemia is a blood disorder in which there is anemia with larger-than-normal red blood cells.
Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.
Anemia - megaloblastic
Other less common causes are:
- Alcohol abuse
- Certain inherited disorders
- Drugs that affect DNA, such as chemotherapy drugs
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- The anticonvulsant drug dilantin
Risk factors relate to the causes.
Exams and Tests
For testing information, see:
The first goal is to diagnose the cause of the anemia. The treatment depends on the cause. Anemias related to specific vitamin deficiencies are discussed separately.
Antony AC. Megoblastic anemias. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Shattil SS, et al., eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 39.
Kaferie J, Strzoda CE. Evaluation of macrocytosis. Am Fam Physician. 2009;79:203-208.
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital (1/31/2010).