Pattern of clinical and hematological profile in patients diagnosed as megaloblastic anemia in a tertiary care centre
Objectives: To determine the pattern of clinical presentation, pattern of cytopenias, and haematological parameters of megaloblastic anemia in our setup. Study Design: Cross Sectional Descriptive study. Setting: Pathology Department, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar. Duration: January 2016 to December 2016 (one year period). Material and Methods: A total of 337 patients underwent bone marrow biopsy during the study period, out of which 46 patients were diagnosed as having megaloblastic anemia on bone marrow aspirate and B12 levels. The clinical features and hematological parameters of these patients were recorded in a proforma and the results were drawn accordingly. All cell counts were done on automated counter machine. Results: Out of 337 patients referred to pathology department for bone marrow aspiration, about 45 cases had megaloblastic anemia. These 45 cases were included in the study. Age of the study sample ranged from 1 year to 90 years (mean 32.2 years ± 12.1 SD). There were 35 (78%) males and 10 (22%) females, with male to female ratio of 3.5:1. Commonest clinical feature was generalized weakness and loose motion, while commonest physical sign was pallor, which were seen in 36 (80%), 36 (80%) and 40 (88%) cases respectively. About 28 (62%) patients had pancytopenia, 9 (20%) patients had bicytopenia (low hemoglobin and platelet count), and 8 (18%) cases had isolated anemia. Low Hb was present in all the 45 (100%) patients. Both the mean hemoglobin level and platelet count were reduced (7.4g/dL and 128x109/L. respectively) while mean white cell count in study sample was normal (mean 5.0x109/L). Conclusion: Megaloblastic anemia may presents as anemia, bicytopenia or pancytopenia. The cytopenias are important feature of megaloblastic anemia. Generalized weakness, and lethargy are the common clinical presentation, while pallor is common physical finding. Patients presenting with a constellation of generalized weakness, pallor and pancytopenia should be suspected of megaloblastic anemia and should be investigated accordingly.