In myelodysplastic syndrome (see Leukemias: Myelodysplastic Syndrome), anemia is commonly prominent. The anemia can be microcytic or normochromic-normocytic, usually with a dimorphic (large and small) population of circulating cells. Bone marrow examination shows decreased erythroid activity, megaloblastoid and dysplastic changes, and, sometimes, increased numbers of ringed sideroblasts. Treatment is the same as for sideroblastic anemias (see Anemias Caused by Deficient Erythropoiesis: Sideroblastic Anemias).
Iron-transport deficiency anemia (atransferrinemia) is exceedingly rare. It occurs when iron cannot move from storage sites (eg, mucosal cells, liver) to the erythropoietic precursors. The presumed mechanism is absence of transferrin or presence of a defective transferrin molecule. In addition to anemia, hemosiderosis of lymphoid tissue, especially along the GI tract, is prominent.
Last full review/revision May 2013 by Alan E. Lichtin, MD