Acute Anaemia: A Challenging Diagnosis
KeywordsAcute anaemia, paraneoplastic syndrome, schistocytes, thrombotic microangiopathies
Acute anaemia is characterized by a reduction in the number of red blood cells, haemoglobin levels or haematocrit. By far the most common aetiology is haemorrhage, but in its absence other less frequent causes should be considered.
The authors present the case of a 42-year-old man with a diagnosis of glucose-6-phosphate deficiency and progressing gastric signet ring cell carcinoma, who was admitted to the internal medicine department for symptomatic back pain control. During his hospitalization, the patient developed acute anaemia with schistocytes on peripheral blood smear with no concurrent hyperbilirubinaemia or decreased haptoglobin. Bone metastatic disease was documented. The case was revised with the transfusion medicine department and malignancy-associated microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia (Ma-MAHA) was suggested. The patient was transferred to the oncology department and later discharged, dying at home shortly afterwards.