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Hypochromia

Definition

Hypochromia means that the red blood cells have less color than normal when examined under a microscope. This usually occurs when there is not enough of the pigment that carries oxygen (hemoglobin ) in the red blood cells.

The most common cause of hypochromia in the United States is iron deficiency. The cause of hypochromia should be evaluated by your health care provider.

See also: Iron deficiency anemia

How the test is performed

How to prepare for the test

How the test will feel

Why the test is performed

Normal Values

What abnormal results mean

What the risks are

Special considerations

References

Gallagher PG. Hemolytic anemias:  red cell membrane and metabolic defects In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. . 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 164.

Brittenham G. Disorders of iron metabolism: iron deficiency and iron overload. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Shattil SS, et al, eds. . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 36.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.