poikilocytosis definition: Causes, anisocytosis and poikilocytosis

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(Last Updated On: August 14, 2016)

poikilocytosis definition

Poikilocytosis is a disorder related to the blood in which 10% or more red blood cells (RBCs) are abnormally shaped. These RBCs are called as poikilocytes. Poikilocytes are of different types depending upon their cellular structures that are associated with different disease conditions.


anisocytosis and poikilocytosis

Anisocytosis means RBCs are unequal size, indicating that some of your red blood cells are either big or small. Iron deficiency anemia causes the cells to be smaller than normal size. Due to this reason, some of the RBCs are normal size and some are smaller than normal, this disease is called as anisocytosis, or “RBCs of unequal size.”

Poikilocytosis means that some of the RBCs are abnormal shaped. There are different abnormal shapes (burr, tear drop, sickle, elliptical). These are also linked to anemia. It could be another cause, but I believe anemia is one of the more common causes.

poikilocytosis causes

Nutritional Deficiency

For the development of red blood cells, the essential material is vitamin B12 and folic acid. Vitamin B12 is very required for absorption of nutrients into the small intestine. Deficiency of vitamin B12 results in malabsorption of folic acid and minerals like iron.



The deficiency of folic acid leads to immature RBCs and deficiency of hemoglobin as folic acid plays a vital role in the maturation of RBCs and Hemoglobin formation. Iron deficiency also affects the structural development of the hemoglobin. Nutritional deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid causes anemia and sometimes change the structure RBCs.

The Associated Diseases

The associated diseases like regional?enteritis, celiac disease. Which are mainly occur in the small intestine and lead to decreased absorption of dietary nutrients mainly folic acids and cause deformed RBCs due to the immaturity. Leukaemia is also led to poikilocytosis.

poikilocytosis symptoms

Normal RBCs perform some important biological activities. The main functions of RBCs are transporting of oxygen and other nutrients to every part of the living tissue which is necessary for normal functioning and overall growth of the body.

The effective treatment will be initiated. If the nutrient deficiency is the major reason then proper diet chart which having sufficient Folic acid and vitamin B12 is recommended.

Natural source of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12

Beetroot, Meat, egg yolk, lentils, almond, soy products, whole grains, spinach, broccoli, cabbage.

Dietary supplements

The main sources of folic acid and Vit B12 are non-veg items, so if deficiency occurred in vegetarian persons then different dietary supplements which can supply folic acid and vitamin B12.



Gluten free diet plan

In celiac disease, which is leads to poikilocytosis, this diet is essential to control the disease and Other medical treatments are implemented by the doctor to control the celiac disease condition.


If cancer leads to poikilocytosis, then the appropriate cancer chemotherapy helps to control poikilocytosis.

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