Megaloblastic and Pernicious Anemia in Children

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Megaloblastic anemia is a type of anemia characterized by very large red blood cells and a decrease in the number of those cells. Megaloblastic anemia is usually due to acquired deficiency in vitamin B12 or folic acid. The deficiency may be due to inadequate dietary intake of these B vitamins or poor intestinal absorption. In rare cases, megaloblastic anemia is caused by medications or inherited defects in the metabolism of vitamin B12 or folic acid.

Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia in which the body isn’t able to absorb vitamin B12 due to a lack of intrinsic factor in stomach secretions. Intrinsic factor is needed for the body to absorb vitamin B12.

How Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Treats Megaloblastic Anemia

Children and young adults with megaloblastic anemia are treated through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, an integrated pediatric hematology and oncology partnership between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital.

Our joint Blood Disorders Center brings together world-renown pediatric hematology specialists and support staff from across Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, including pediatric hematologist/oncologists, hematopathologists, hematology nurse practitioners, social workers and designated hematology patient coordinators. For many appointments and certain procedures, your child can also receive care at one of Boston Children's satellite offices.

Learn more

Find in-depth information on megaloblastic anemia, including pernicious anemia, on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including details on anemia symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and research.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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