Anaemia in inflammatory rheumatic diseases

Nature Reviews. Rheumatology
Günter Weiss, G Schett


Anaemia is frequently observed in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Depending on its severity, anaemia negatively affects cardiovascular performance, physical activity and the quality of life of patients. However, anaemia is considered to be a symptom of the underlying inflammatory disease and, thus, neglected as a complex medical condition that warrants specific diagnosis and treatment. Although inflammation-induced alterations in iron homeostasis and erythropoiesis have a dominant role in the pathogenesis of this type of anaemia, multiple other factors such as chronic blood loss, haemolysis, disease and treatment-associated adverse effects or vitamin deficiencies can also take part in the development of anaemia. Accordingly, the prevalence of anaemia is positively associated with the severity of the underlying disease. This Review will summarize epidemiological data on anaemia in inflammatory rheumatic diseases, along with a detailed description of underlying pathophysiological pathways, available diagnostic tools and practical diagnostic strategies. Discussion of established and newly emerging treatment regimens, as well as the need for further research in this clinically relevant field, will also be included.


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Related Concepts

Pathogenic Aspects
Biochemical Pathway
Inflammatory Disorder
Chronic Hemorrhage
Severity of Illness Index
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Adverse Effects
Postoperative Hemorrhage

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Anemia develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells. Anemia of inflammation (AI, also called anemia of chronic disease) is a common, typically normocytic, normochromic anemia that is caused by an underlying inflammatory disease. Here is the latest research on anemia.