Red blood cells normally are the same in size and color and have a lighter-colored area in the center. The blood smear is considered normal if there is:
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
Abnormal results mean there is an abnormality in the size, shape, color, or coating of the red blood cells.
Some abnormalities may be graded on a 4-point scale:
The presence of target cells may be due to:
The presence of sphere-shaped cells (spherocytes) may be due to:
The presence of fragmented cells (schistocytes) may be due to:
The presence of a type of immature red blood cell called a normoblast may be due to:
The presence of burr cells (echinocytes) may indicate:
The presence of spur cells (acanthocytes) may indicate:
The presence of teardrop-shaped cells may indicate:
The presence of Howell-Jolly bodies may indicate:
The presence of Heinz bodies may indicate:
The presence of slightly immature red blood cells (reticulocytes) may indicate:
The presence of basophilic stippling may indicate:
The presence of sickle cells may indicate sickle cell anemia.
Newland J. The peripheral blood smear. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 161.
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