Blood Cells

Rouleaux

Rouleaux

May 31st – Rouleaux (singular is rouleau) are stacks or aggregations of red blood cells (RBCs) which form because of the unique discoid shape of the cells in vertebrates. The flat surface of the discoid RBCs gives them a large surface area to make contact with and stick to each other; thus forming a rouleau. …

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Cabot rings

Cabot rings

May 29th – Cabot rings appear as thin, red-violet-staining strands in the shape of rings, figure eights, or shapes of the letter B on Wright-stained smears. They are rarely seen in peripheral blood. The rings are probably microtubules from the mitotic spindle that remain behind after the rest of the erythrocyte nucleus is extruded. Cabot …

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Echinocyte

Echinocyte

May 26th – Echinocyte comes from the Greek word meaning “sea urchin,” which relates to its shell-like appearance. Echinocytes, more commonly referred to as burr cells, are reversible, meaning that this alteration can be the result of the cell’s environment, pH of the medium (including the glass slides on which blood smears are made), the …

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Acanthocyte

Acanthocyte

May 25th – Acanthocyte (from the Greek word acantha, meaning ‘thorn’), in biology and medicine, refers to a form of red blood cell that has a spiked cell membrane, due to abnormal thorny projections. A similar term is spur cells. Often they may be confused with echinocytes or schistocytes. Acanthocytes have coarse, weirdly spaced, variably …

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Schistocyte

Schistocyte

May 24th – A schistocyte or schizocyte (from Greek schistos for “divided” or schistein for “to split”, and kytos for “hollow” or “cell”) is a fragmented part of a red blood cell. Schistocytes are typically irregularly shaped, jagged, and have two pointed ends. A true schistocyte does not have central pallor. Schistocytes are sometimes referred …

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Codocytes

Codocytes

May 17th – Codocytes also known as target cells are red blood cells that have the appearance of a shooting target with a bullseye. In optical microscopy these cells appear to have a dark center (a central, hemoglobinized area) surrounded by a white ring (an area of relative pallor), followed by dark outer (peripheral) second …

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Microcytosis

Microcytosis

May 15th – Many people are unaware that red blood cells have different morphological appearances based on the way the patient presents. The next week will explore these findings and their potential causes. Today we will explore Microcytosis, which is typically an incidental finding in asymptomatic patients who received a complete blood count for other …

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