Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemia

What is congenital dyserythropoietic anemia?

Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia (CDA) is a group of rare, inherited, conditions characterized by ineffective red blood cell production. This process, called erythropoiesis, results in a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the body and a less than normal quantity of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body.

Types of CDA

  • Type 1: Moderate to severe anemia including jaundice; hepatosplenomegaly (enlargement of the liver and spleen) as well as iron overload. These can lead to heart problems, liver disease (cirrhosis) and diabetes
  • Type 2: Hepatosplenomegaly, gallbladder stones, and a milder form of anemia. After age 20 some children develop iron overload.  
  • Type 3: The liver is not affected, but eye and blood problems are present. The exact cause of this type is currently unknown but like other forms results from gene mutations.
  • Type 4: Severe anemia

How we care for CDA

Children and adolescents with CDA are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through our Rare Anemias and Iron Disorders Program.

Our program provides comprehensive care for children with all types of rare anemias and iron disorders, as well as ongoing medical management and access to new treatment approaches through our clinical research.