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Pernicious anaemia

Pernicious anaemia

M108/0615

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Credit

DR GARY GAUGLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR GARY GAUGLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pernicious anaemia. Coloured light micrograph (LM) of a blood smear showing the presence of pernicious anaemia, a type of megaloblastic anaemia. Pernicious anaemia is caused by the deficiency of vitamin B12 or folic acid due to the intestine being unable to absorb these substances. Compared to a normal blood smear, the number of red blood cells (RBCs) is severely reduced and those that are present are enlarged or deformed. Two white blood cells can be seen with darkly staining nuclei (lower centre). A reduced number of RBCs reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Symptoms of pernicious anaemia include tiredness and lowered immunity.

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