Anemia Testing Algorithm

Anemia is a clinical finding that arises from many etiologies. Anemia is defined by a hemoglobin (Hgb) value at least two standard deviations below the mean for age and sex (<13 g/dL for men and <12 g/dL for women). Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, pallor, dizziness, and fainting. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common anemia. Other common anemias are anemia of chronic disease/anemia of inflammation, megaloblastic anemia, and hemolytic anemias (including sickle cell anemia). An initial workup for anemia includes a CBC, which is typically followed by ferritin and iron binding if anemia is indicated.