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A patient presents with fatigue. The CBC results are:

Parameter
Value
Reference Interval
White blood cells (WBC)
5.7 x 109/L
4.0-10.0 x 109/L
Red blood cells (RBC)
4.0 x 1012/L
4.2-5.9 x 1012/L
Hemoglobin
12.9 g/dL
12-16 g/dL
Hematocrit
34%
37-48%
MCV
85 fL
80-100 fL
MCHC
38 g/dL
30-37 g/dL

Considering all of the above information and the cells indicated by the arrows that were observed on the peripheral smear, what is the probable mechanism for the anemia that the patient is experiencing?

Please select the single best answer