Table 8.5-1. Differential diagnosis of hypochromic anemia

Parameter

Iron deficiency anemia

Anemia of chronic disease

Thalassemia alpha or beta

Sideroblastic anemia

Anemia severity

Any

Rarely Hb <9 g/dL

Mild (in trait)

Any

MCV

↓ or ↓↓

N or ↓

↓↓

N, ↓, or ↑

Serum ferritin

↓ (may be normal or increased with inflammation/liver disease)

N or ↑

N

TIBC

N

N

Iron
 

Serum

N

Bone marrow

↓ or absent

present

present

present

↓, decreased; ↑, increased; Hb, hemoglobin; MCV, mean corpuscular volume; N, normal; TIBC, total iron binding capacity.