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Size: an increase of larger than normal, usually immature polychromatic RBC
Cause: response to anemia


Size: an increase in the number of RBC's smaller in diameter than normal
Cause: decreased MCV


Size: normal sized erythrocytes
Cause: healthy..


mean corpuscular volume


Color: Mature cell that stains pink in color. Area of central pallor, in mammals.. Reptiles, amphibians and birds have a nucleus
Cause: again healthy


Color: cells that have a bluish tint due to remaining organelles in cytoplasm when stained with NMB =reticulocytes
Cause: anemia


Color: lack of decreased in staining intensity. Due to decrease in cellular hemoglobin
Cause: iron deficiency


Shape: "spur cells"
cells with irregularly shaped margins/projections from the cell wall
Cause: liver disease, hemangiosarcoma, renal disease, alterations in cholesterol, phospholids

cancer of blood vessels



Shape: cells with spiky projections even with distribution around the cell


Shape: 'sickle cells' normal in deer and angora goats
Cause: healthy in deer and A. Goats


Shape: 'helmet cells' cell appears to have an air bubble (two horn like projections)
Cause: neoplasia, kidney disorders, liver disorders and hormone deformity.


Shape: bowl shaped RBC result in loss of membrane flexibility cannot return to normal shape
cause: caused by going through capillaries


Shape: 'burr cells' spine like projections from all surfaces of the cell
cause:observed in horses after exercising or with renal disease, dogs with lymphosarcoma


Shape: 'target cells' contained in central round portion of hemoglobin inside the area of central pallor
cause: usually due to liver disease may be precursor to acanthocytes


Shape: large thin RBC that is folded or misshapen due to increased membrane of decreased volume
Cause: found in regenerative anemia


Shape: form of leptocytes, large thin cell that warps when passing through small blood vessels
cause: inherited disorders seen in dogs
(looks like golden crisps.. (I) )


Shape: 'tear cell'
tear drop shaped cell
Cause: myelofibrosis and certain other myeloproliferative diseases.


Shape: smaller dense dark staining lack in central pallor. No longer maintains disc shape.
Cause: indicates immune mediated damage IMHA-immune mediated hemolytic anemia


immune mediated hemolytic anemia


fragmented erythrocytes
Cause: suggestive mechanical damage or vascular occlusion. DIC


Shape: Disseminated intravascular coagulation


Shape: erythrocytes appearing as stack of coins or rows
normal in horses
cause: inflammatory disease alterations of plasma proteins


Shape: general presence of a variation in cell shape.
Cause: mishandling the sample


Shape: amorphous clumping or erythrocytes
Cause: typically associated with immune disease, do not use automated RBC counting or sizing as this will just count group as just one cell when there are many....


Shape: variation in size of RBC's normal amount varies with species
Cause: large or small cells mild moderate or marked.

Howell jolly bodies

Inclusions: erythrocytes that retain small round nuclear fragments. dark staining inter cellular bodies. removed by the spleen
Cause: noted in splenic disorders, regenerative animia

heinz bodies

Inclusions: small round areas of denatured hemoglobin attached to the cell membrane. dyes purple when stained with NMB
Caused: due to oxidation denaturing of hemoglobin in RBC commonly found in cats

basophilic stippling

Inclusions: small blue staining granules RNA within the erythrocyte seen with diff quick
Cause: usually from ruminant regenterative anemia may be lead poisoning toxicity

nucleated red blood cells

Inclusions: (nRBC) slightly darker than mature RBC darker staining cytoplasm retained nulceaus
Cause: released in response to anemia, normal in birds and reptiles


Inclusions: (polychromatophil) immature RBC that has organelles that are lost when cell matures
Cause: NMB staining when found, not nice round dots just scattered dots..

ghost cells

artifact: red blood cell which has had all of its cytoplasmic contents removed by cell lysis so only its outer membrane remains
cause: diff quick stained outlined erythrocyte not pink... looks improperly stained...

stain precipitate

artifact: appears as purple granules
cause: just an artifact, junk

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