Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and anemia of chronic disease/anemia of inflammation (ACD/AI) may be difficult to distinguish. IDA is an anemia caused by low iron stores in the body, while ACD/AI is a functional anemia of iron-restricted erythropoiesis related to diseases such as infections, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and end-organ failure. After a CBC result indicating anemia, the workup to distinguish between IDA and ACD/AI includes ferritin, iron and iron binding capacity, and serum soluble transferrin receptor testing.
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