Are you suffering from breathlessness and rapid heart rate? You may be a victim of Anisocytosis, a medical condition affecting blood cells.

What is Anisocytosis?

Anisocytosis definition is usually very simple though the condition may be tough to understand for people in general. It is a physical condition in which the red blood cells of a person are found to be of unequal size. This normally happens when the patient suffers from Anaemia, Thalassemia or any other disorder of blood cells. When blood is tested in such cases, the cells are found to be of different sizes.

Red blood cells of different sizes
Image Source: Wikimedia Common

Anisocytosis Meaning

The name Anisocytosis has been derived from two different words, “aniso” meaning “unequal”, and “cytosis” which has a reference to cells.

Anisocytosis Symptoms

Anisocytosis is characterised by a variety of symptoms. These include


Tiredness is one of the notable symptoms of Anisocytosis. The patients typically suffer from tiredness and lack the energy to take on strenuous jobs. They get exhausted very easily.


The suffering people generally also have a shortness of breath from time to time.

Rapid Heartbeat

The heart pounds faster in people suffering from Anisocytosis. Heart beat may increase even without any intense physical activity.

Pale Skin

Affected people normally have a noticeable paleness of skin. The paleness can also be seen in other areas of the body such as nail beds and eye balls.

These symptoms arise as differences in the size of the red blood cells mean that oxygen is carried with less efficiency in the body tissues. Notably many of these symptoms are similar to that of anemia or heart failure. So if you see the above symptoms then it is better to consult a doctor.

Anisocytosis Causes

There can be various reasons for Anisocytosis. Some of them are

Deficiency of Iron

Iron is an important component which is required to make blood. Lack of iron can reduce your red blood cells to a great extent, resulting in anemia, and ultimately leading to Anisocytosis.

Lack of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is one of the vital nutrients required by the body, which is required by the body to fight diseases. Lack of Vitamin A also results in irregular size of the red blood cells, causing Anisocytosis.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12, just like iron, is another vital component that the body needs to make red blood cells. Lack of Vitamin B12 can lead to decreased production of red blood cells resulting in pernicious anaemia. This can ultimately give rise to Anisocytosis. Severe lack of Vitamin B12 can lead to nervous disorders.

Diamond-Blackfan Anemia

Diamond-Blackfan anemia is a condition in which the bone marrow is unable to make sufficient red blood cells. Anisocytosis may be one of the signs of anemia of this kind.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome

This disorder can give rise to abnormalities in the bone marrow and blood and lead to result in the formation of irregular sized blood cells. This is another condition behind Anisocytosis.

Blood Transfusion

Blood transfusion can be a major reason behind Anisocytosis and much care need to be taken during the process. A test should be conducted to check whether the size of the red blood cells in the transfused blood is same as that present in his/her body at that time. Anisocytosis arising due to blood transfusion is, however, temporary in nature.

Anisocytosis Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Anisocytosis can be done by an expert physician or you can do it yourself in the comfort of your home.

Diagnosis of Anisocytosis by Doctors

The diagnosis of Anisocytosis is generally done by taking a blood sample of the patient and observing it under a microscope. The microscopic observation of the blood smear is enough to reveal the irregularity in size of the cells. A RDW (Red Blood Cell Distribution Width) examination is carried out to check the degree of Anisocytosis. High values of variable-sized red blood cells indicate the presence of Anisocytosis.

Once an abnormality is detected, doctors start the treatment of the condition. If the varying red blood cells are low in number, doctors categorize the condition as +1 Anisocytosis. But if the quantity is found to be greater, it is regarded as a case of +2 Anisocytosis.

Diagnosis of Anisocytosis is often triggered falsely due to conditions such as increased WBC count or giant platelets.

Diagnosis of Anisocytosis at Home

These days, diagnosis of various diseases can also be done at home thanks to the many medical kits available in the market. You can conduct any of these examinations at home to check the presence of the condition.

  • Anemia Test
  • Adrenal Gland Function Test
  • Thyroid Gland Function Test
  • Calcium Deficiency Test

Anisocytosis Treatment

There is no particular cure for Anisocytosis. The treatments for Anisocytosis tend to vary since the causes of the disease vary from person to person. It must be remembered that Anisocytosis is not a disease in itself. Rather, it is a symptom of some other condition in most cases. This makes its treatment quite difficult in most cases. However, finding out the exact condition causing it and curing it properly can lead to quick recovery. The degree to which the disease is curable completely depends on its cause. If Vitamin deficiency is the cause of the disease in any individual, he or she needs to be provided with Vitamin supplement.

Anisocytosis is not something serious to worry about and generally involves no life risks. However, the condition causes a lot of physical discomfort and can be a sign of some more complicated disorders. If you are having Anisocytosis yourself or know someone suffering from it, it is best to get medical treatment as early as possible.


  1. Angaye evelyn itarime October 5, 2011
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  3. Modupe Ukochukwu March 25, 2012
  4. Odeyemi joseph November 26, 2012
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