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  • Congenital dyserythropoietic anemias (CDAs) are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by anemia, ineffective erythropoiesis with specific morphologic alterations of erythroid precursors in the marrow, and iron overload.

  • Although rare, uncovering the molecular basis of CDA has helped unravel novel aspects of the cell biology of erythropoiesis.

  • Three classical types of CDA have been distinguished. However, some patients with the phenotype of CDA do not fit into any of these categories.


Clinical and Laboratory Features

  • The condition presents in infancy or adolescence.

  • Autosomal recessive inheritance is caused by mutations in the CDAN1 gene, encoding codanin-1, a cell cycle–regulated protein involved in histone assembly; homozygosity is often associated with consanguinity. In a number of patients, only one or no CDAN1-mutated allele is identified. Another causative gene is CDIN1 (CDAN1-interacting nuclease 1), originally named C15ORF41; other causative genes are also suspected.

  • Moderately severe macrocytic anemia (approximately 9.0 g/dL) occurs.

  • Hepatomegaly and cholelithiasis are common.

  • Splenomegaly increases with age.

  • Specific morphologic findings of CDA type I are summarized in Table 7–1 and exemplified in Figure 7–1.

  • Dysmorphic skeletal features may be present, typically affecting hands and feet. Less common are small stature, almond-shaped blue eyes, hypertelorism, and micrognathia.


Light microscopy of marrow. A. Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia type I. The internuclear unusually long chromatin bridge is marked by an arrow. B. Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia type II. The two arrows point to binucleate erythroblasts, characteristic of this type. (Reproduced with permission from Dr. Odile Fenneteau.)

Differential Diagnosis

  • The condition may be confused with the thalassemias (see Chap. 15...

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