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Refractory Anemia

The term refractory anemia (RA) may be confusing to those who are not hematologists. RA should be well defined because it means more than what it says. RA is defined as anemia that is not responsive to therapy except transfusion.[1] The term RA is used to rule out those types of anemia with a known cause such as anemia of systemic diseases (liver and kidney) and anemia of inflammation even though they are considered refractory to therapy.[2] RA with cellular or hypercellular bone marrow was formerly used to exclude aplastic anemia.

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Clinical Research in Hematology  •  Vol 2  •  Issue 1  •  2019 17
Dear editor,
The term refractory anemia (RA) may be confusing to those
who are not hematologists. RA should be well defined
because it means more than what it says. RA is defined as
anemia that is not responsive to therapy except transfusion.[1]
The
term RA is used to rule out those types of anemia with a known
cause such as anemia of systemic diseases (liver and kidney) and
anemia of inflammation even though they are considered refractory
to therapy.[2]
RA with cellular or hypercellular bone marrow was
formerly used to exclude aplastic anemia. Now, the diagnosis of
aplastic anemia describes a hypocellular or acellular marrow, except
in transient stage. In practice, RA with cellular or hypercellular bone
marrow is used to involve patients with anemia and simultaneously
express pancytopenia without splenomegaly.[3]
RA is recently
considered in the main classification group of myelodysplastic
syndromes (MDS). RA has been recognized in many conditions
such as anemia transfusion dependent (sickle cell disease,
thalassemia major, and aplastic anemia), bone marrow infiltration
diseases (leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, metastatic diseases,
myelofibrosis, and granulomatous diseases), secondary idiopathic
sideroblastic anemia, congenital dyserythropoietic anemias, and
MDS.[4]
In other words, RA is recognized as a low risk of MDS with
monolineage dysplasia associated with anemia, dyserythropoiesis,
and decreased the percentage of blast cells in bone marrow and/
or peripheral blood. RA represents approximately 5–10% of
MDS cases and usually affects elderly people with no known
etiology recognized so far. According to the recent World Health
Organization recommendations, to setup the diagnosis of RA, all
other potential etiologies of erythroid abnormalities should be
excluded. These etiologies include immunologic diseases, drugs
and chemicals, congenital abnormalities, vitamin deficiencies, and
viral infections.[5]
RA in case of MDS is characterized by anemia,
dyserythropoiesis in  10% of erythroid precursor and may associate
with  15% ring sideroblasts of the nucleated erythrocytes.[4]
RA is
categorized into primary RA which is characterized by a qualitative
disturbance of erythropoiesis with functional and morphological
abnormalities in association with variable degree of myelopoiesis
and chronic RA in which the general hematopoietic abnormalities
are particularly noted.[2]
Individuals with RA should be managed
according to the underlying etiology of RA. RAmay have a long and
stable clinical course without intervention to treatment. Therefore,
some patients with RA even children become susceptible to
infection often due to neutropenia or transfusion dependency. Some
reports have proposed immunosuppressive drugs (corticosteroids
and cyclosporine) probably effective in subset of individual with
MDS-RA. Chemotherapy is rare being used, and hematopoietic
stem cell transplant is the curative way.[6]
Overall, this subtracting will add augmented knowledge of RA in
clinical practice.
REFERENCES
1.	 Ciulla AP, Lehman DC. Success! In Clinical Laboratory
Science. 4th
 ed. United States: Pearson; 2009. p. 261-2.
2.	 Orazi A, Weiss LM, Foucar K, Knowle’s DN. Knowles
Neoplastic Hemopathology. 3rd
 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolter
Kluwer Health-Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2014. p. 240.
3.	 Hoffbrand AV, Moss PA. Hoffbrand’s Essential Hematology.
7th
 ed. India: Wiley Blackwell; 2016. p. 178, 182, 184.
4.	 Matsuda A, Germing U, Jinnai I, Araseki K, Kuendgen A,
Strupp C, et al. Differences in the distribution of subtypes
according to the WHO classification 2008 between Japanese
and German patients with refractory anemia according to the
FAB classification in myelodysplastic syndromes. Leuk Res
2010;34:974-80.
5.	 Mirgh SP, Mishra VA, Shah VD, Sorabjee JS. Refractory
anemia in human immunodeficiency virus: Expect the
unexpected. J Family Med Prim Care 2016;5:727-9.
LETTER TO EDITOR
Refractory Anemia
Bashir Abdrhman Bashir Mohammed
Department of Hematology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Port Sudan Ahlia College, Port Sudan,
Sudan
Address for correspondence:
Dr. Bashir Abdrhman Bashir Mohammed, Department of Hematology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Port
Sudan Ahlia College, Port Sudan, Sudan. Tel.: 00249912358772. Fax: 00249 3118 26537.
E-mail: bashirbashir17@hotmail.com
https://doi.org/10.33309/2639-8354.020104 www.asclepiusopen.com
© 2019 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
Letter to Editor
 Clinical Research in Hematology  •  Vol 2  •  Issue 1  •  2019
6.	 Litchman M, Kaushansky K, Prchal JT, Barns LJ,Armitage  JO.
Williams of Manual Hematology. 9th
 ed. China: McGraw-Hill
Education; 2017. p. 357.
How to cite this article: Mohammed BAB. Refractory
Anemia.Clin Res Hematol 2019;2(1):17-18.

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Refractory Anemia

  • 1. Clinical Research in Hematology  •  Vol 2  •  Issue 1  •  2019 17 Dear editor, The term refractory anemia (RA) may be confusing to those who are not hematologists. RA should be well defined because it means more than what it says. RA is defined as anemia that is not responsive to therapy except transfusion.[1] The term RA is used to rule out those types of anemia with a known cause such as anemia of systemic diseases (liver and kidney) and anemia of inflammation even though they are considered refractory to therapy.[2] RA with cellular or hypercellular bone marrow was formerly used to exclude aplastic anemia. Now, the diagnosis of aplastic anemia describes a hypocellular or acellular marrow, except in transient stage. In practice, RA with cellular or hypercellular bone marrow is used to involve patients with anemia and simultaneously express pancytopenia without splenomegaly.[3] RA is recently considered in the main classification group of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). RA has been recognized in many conditions such as anemia transfusion dependent (sickle cell disease, thalassemia major, and aplastic anemia), bone marrow infiltration diseases (leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, metastatic diseases, myelofibrosis, and granulomatous diseases), secondary idiopathic sideroblastic anemia, congenital dyserythropoietic anemias, and MDS.[4] In other words, RA is recognized as a low risk of MDS with monolineage dysplasia associated with anemia, dyserythropoiesis, and decreased the percentage of blast cells in bone marrow and/ or peripheral blood. RA represents approximately 5–10% of MDS cases and usually affects elderly people with no known etiology recognized so far. According to the recent World Health Organization recommendations, to setup the diagnosis of RA, all other potential etiologies of erythroid abnormalities should be excluded. These etiologies include immunologic diseases, drugs and chemicals, congenital abnormalities, vitamin deficiencies, and viral infections.[5] RA in case of MDS is characterized by anemia, dyserythropoiesis in 10% of erythroid precursor and may associate with 15% ring sideroblasts of the nucleated erythrocytes.[4] RA is categorized into primary RA which is characterized by a qualitative disturbance of erythropoiesis with functional and morphological abnormalities in association with variable degree of myelopoiesis and chronic RA in which the general hematopoietic abnormalities are particularly noted.[2] Individuals with RA should be managed according to the underlying etiology of RA. RAmay have a long and stable clinical course without intervention to treatment. Therefore, some patients with RA even children become susceptible to infection often due to neutropenia or transfusion dependency. Some reports have proposed immunosuppressive drugs (corticosteroids and cyclosporine) probably effective in subset of individual with MDS-RA. Chemotherapy is rare being used, and hematopoietic stem cell transplant is the curative way.[6] Overall, this subtracting will add augmented knowledge of RA in clinical practice. REFERENCES 1. Ciulla AP, Lehman DC. Success! In Clinical Laboratory Science. 4th  ed. United States: Pearson; 2009. p. 261-2. 2. Orazi A, Weiss LM, Foucar K, Knowle’s DN. Knowles Neoplastic Hemopathology. 3rd  ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolter Kluwer Health-Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2014. p. 240. 3. Hoffbrand AV, Moss PA. Hoffbrand’s Essential Hematology. 7th  ed. India: Wiley Blackwell; 2016. p. 178, 182, 184. 4. Matsuda A, Germing U, Jinnai I, Araseki K, Kuendgen A, Strupp C, et al. Differences in the distribution of subtypes according to the WHO classification 2008 between Japanese and German patients with refractory anemia according to the FAB classification in myelodysplastic syndromes. Leuk Res 2010;34:974-80. 5. Mirgh SP, Mishra VA, Shah VD, Sorabjee JS. Refractory anemia in human immunodeficiency virus: Expect the unexpected. J Family Med Prim Care 2016;5:727-9. LETTER TO EDITOR Refractory Anemia Bashir Abdrhman Bashir Mohammed Department of Hematology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Port Sudan Ahlia College, Port Sudan, Sudan Address for correspondence: Dr. Bashir Abdrhman Bashir Mohammed, Department of Hematology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Port Sudan Ahlia College, Port Sudan, Sudan. Tel.: 00249912358772. Fax: 00249 3118 26537. E-mail: bashirbashir17@hotmail.com https://doi.org/10.33309/2639-8354.020104 www.asclepiusopen.com © 2019 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
  • 2. Letter to Editor Clinical Research in Hematology  •  Vol 2  •  Issue 1  •  2019 6. Litchman M, Kaushansky K, Prchal JT, Barns LJ,Armitage  JO. Williams of Manual Hematology. 9th  ed. China: McGraw-Hill Education; 2017. p. 357. How to cite this article: Mohammed BAB. Refractory Anemia.Clin Res Hematol 2019;2(1):17-18.