Anemia of Prematurity Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jan 08, 2016
  • Author: George Cassady, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of anemia of prematurity (AOP) are those which diminish red cell production, increase red cell destruction, or cause blood loss.

Conditions that diminish RBC synthesis are as follows:

  • Bone marrow infiltration

  • Bone marrow depression (eg, pancytopenia, drugs)

  • Diamond-Blackfan anemia

  • Substrate deficiencies (eg, iron, vitamin E, folic acid)

  • Congenital fetal infections (eg, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus, syphilis)

Conditions that cause hemolysis are as follows:

  • Congenital fetal infections (eg, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus, syphilis)

  • Acute systemic infections (leading to disseminated intravascular coagulation)

  • Abnormal red blood cells (spherocytosis, elliptocytosis)

  • Nonspherocytic hemolytic anemias (eg, G-6-PD deficiency, kinase and isomerase deficiencies)

  • Hemolytic disease of the newborn (Rh, ABO, other major blood-group incompatibilities between mother and fetus)

Conditions that reduce blood volume are as follows:

  • Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (donor twin)

  • Iatrogenic (eg, excessive blood sampling)

  • Hemorrhage (eg, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, subcutaneous tissues)

Differential Diagnoses