This is characterised by:
- iron overload
- ring sideroblasts
In congenital sideroblastic anaemia hypochromic red blood cells are seen in the peripheral blood with sideroblasts in the bone marrow. There may be poikilocytosis and anisocytosis.
Idiopathic sideroblastic anaemia is a member of the myelodysplastic syndromes. In this condition, the red blood cells are normal or macrocytic.
An excess of sideroblasts indicates either iron overload - for example, from transfusion - or inability to utilise normal amounts of iron.