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Centre for Evidence-
Based Medicine

Diagnosis - Iron Deficiency Anemia

You admit a 75 year old woman with community-acquired pneumonia. She responds nicely to appropriate antibiotics but her hemoglobin remains at 100 g/l with an MCV of 80. Her peripheral blood smear shows hypochromia, she is otherwise well and is on no incriminating medications. You contact her family physician and find out that her Hgb was 105 g/l 6 months ago. She has never been investigated for anaemia. A ferritin has been ordered and comes back at 10 mmol/l. You admit to yourself that you're unsure how to interpret a ferritin result and aren't sure how precise and accurate it is.

What clinical questions could you ask?

Patient or Problem:
Intervention:
Comparison Intervention:
Outcome:
Your Question:

Compare your answer to the question we formulated

Patient or Problem:
Elderly woman with anaemia
Intervention:
Ferritin
Comparison Intervention:
Outcome:
Iron deficiency anaemia
Question:
In an elderly woman with hypochromic, microcytic anaemia, can a low ferritin diagnose iron deficiency anaemia?