Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Repeated USMLE Questions Step 1- 232

A 21-year-old pregnant woman visits her physician for a prenatal visit. Ultrasonography shows neural tube defects. The patient was not compliant with her medications. Assuming that the condition is caused by deficiency of a certain nutrient, which one of these abnormalities would be seen as well?

A-Microcytic anemia

B-Macrocytic anemia

C-Macrocytic anemia with neurological signs

D-Normochromic normocytic anemia


This is most likely a case of folic acid deficiency. Folic acid is routinely administered during pregnancy to avoid complications of its deficiency which result in neural tube defects. Folic acid deficiency also leads to macrocytic anemia which is differentiated from Vitamin B deficiency macrocytic anemia in lack of neurological signs. Microcytic anemia is mainly caused by iron-deficiency and some congenital diseases while normocytic anemia occurs in general diseases and some types of hemolytic anemias.

The correct answer is B

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