Supine-Related Pseudoanemia in Hospitalized Patients

Arsalan Derakhshan, Reza Manesh, Bennett A. Peterson, Bibhu Mohanty, Thomas S. Kickler, Daniel J. Brotman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A patient's supine posture redistributes plasma into the vascular space, leading to dilution of blood constituents. The extent to which posture may influence identification of hospital-acquired anemia is unknown. Patients in this quasi-experimental study had blood obtained for hemoglobin measurement while recumbent for at least 6 hours, and then again after sitting upright for at least 1 hour. Of the 35 patients who completed the study, 13 were women (37%). Patients had a median increase in hemoglobin of 0.60 g/dL (range, -0.6 to 1.4 g/dL) with sitting, a 5.2% (range, (-4.5% to 15.1%) relative change (P < .001). Ten of 35 patients (29%) exhibited an increase in hemoglobin of 1.0 g/dL or more. Posture influences hemoglobin levels in hospitalized patients on general medicine wards; this knowledge may help curb unnecessary testing to evaluate small changes in hemoglobin concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-222
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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