A case of persistent anemia and alcohol abuse


Background A 56-year-old male with a history of excess alcohol consumption for over 10 years and type 2 diabetes mellitus (diagnosed 14 years previously) presented to the accident and emergency department with severe anemia and a 1-day history of nausea and 'coffee ground' vomiting. He had been admitted to hospital on several occasions in the previous 18 months, primarily because of anemia, and had received 30 units of transfused blood during this period. Previous extensive investigations included six esophagogastroduodenoscopies and a colonoscopy, a barium follow-through study, and a radionucleotide Meckel's scan. The prior working diagnosis was anemia secondary to blood loss.Investigations Laboratory investigations (full blood count [including reticulocytes], microscopic blood film examination, hematinics, liver function tests with direct and indirect bilirubin measurement, prothrombin time, and lactate dehydrogenase level), transjugular liver biopsy and bone-marrow biopsy.Diagnosis Alcohol-related anemia caused by acute hemolysis, sideroblastic anemia and cirrhosis.Management Correction of anemia by blood transfusion (6 units), and prevention of recurrence by strict abstinence from alcohol.

DOI: 10.1038/ncpgasthep0922


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@article{Lewis2007ACO, title={A case of persistent anemia and alcohol abuse}, author={Gemma Lewis and Matthew Peter Wise and Christopher H Poynton and Andrew J. Godkin}, journal={Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology &Hepatology}, year={2007}, volume={4}, pages={521-526} }