clinical features

Last reviewed 01/2018

Possible symptoms include:

  • pallor
  • fatigue
  • dyspnoea
  • anorexia
  • headache
  • bowel disturbance
  • features of underlying disease

Possible signs include:

  • koilonychia is suggestive of iron deficiency
  • conjunctival pallor suggests anaemia (1)
  • combination of fair or prematurely grey hair and blue eyes may indicate pernicious anaemia
  • gum hypertrophy may occur secondary to infiltration by leukaemic cells, especially in acute monocytic leukaemia
  • atrophic glossitis may occur in megaloblastic anaemia or iron deficiency anaemia
  • tachycardia
  • wide pulse pressure
  • systolic ejection murmur


  1. Tally N, O'Connor S. Clinical Examination. Blackwell Scientific Publications.