The Daily PANCE and PANRE Question 2

Which term is used to describe the characteristic concave or "spoon-shaped" nails of iron deficiency anemia?

  1. leukonychia
  2. koilonychia
  3. clubbing
  4. onycholysis
  5. paronychia

Answer: B


Koilonychia is a spoon-shaping of the nail itself. It is usually a result of iron deficiency anemia. Leukonychia is often associated with hypoalbuminemia that causes partial or complete white discoloration of the nails. Leukonychia may also appear as a rare side effect of systemic chemotherapy in some oncological patients but may also be present with arsenic poisoning, renal failure, pneumonia, or heart disease. Clubbing of the nails is an actual thickening or elevation of the nail bed - it is a sign of a release of TNF associated with pulmonary disorders (tissue necrosis factor) typically found in bronchiectasis, lung cancers, and cystic fibrosis (the nails are NOT necessarily cyanotic.) Onycholysis is a painless separation of the nail from the nail bed. Several or all nails are usually affected - there are many causes. Paronychia is an infection of the nail bed and nail margin, usually from trauma or more commonly, nail-biting.

Know Your Content Blueprint

Iron deficiency anemia is part of the NCCPA Content Blueprint Hematologic System

Review Topic: Iron Deficiency Anemia