Describing a Red Blood Cell Population Using RBC Indices and Red Cell Distribution Width (Online CE Course)

(based on 678 customer ratings)

Author: Sheryl A. Whitlock, MA.Ed, MT(ASCP)BB
Reviewer: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM

This course discusses the use of red cell indices and red cell distribution width to describe a population of red blood cells. The course provides information regarding interpretation of red cell histograms that are part of the automated cell count and correlations between indices, RDWs, and peripheral blood smear observations.

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Continuing Education Credits

Course number 20-547649, approved through 9/1/2018

Objectives

  • Define red blood cell parameters reported by automated blood cell counters.
  • Relate observed red blood cell morphology to red cell parameters reported by automated blood cell counters.
  • Apply red cell distribution data to the red cell population observed on the peripheral smear.
  • Relate measured red cell parameters to anemias.
  • Relate the significance of delta checks to red blood cell indices.

Customer Ratings

(based on 678 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Definitions, calculations, and red cell distribution histogram interpretations
  • Red blood cell morphology correlated with automated measured and calculated parameters
      • Red Blood Cell (RBC) Size Variation
      • Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) Correlated with Peripheral Smear
      • Red Blood Cell (RBC) Color Variation
      • RBC Size and Color Descriptions
      • Red Blood Cell Parameters Correlated with Red Blood Cell Morphology, Summary
      • A technologist is working with a student on the teaching microscope. There is a micrometer for measurement of microscopic items. Each of the statement...
      • The image on the right is a representative field from a peripheral blood smear. What characteristics would describe the red cell distribution curve th...
      • The image on the right is a representative field from a peripheral blood smear. Which of the following MCV values correlates best with the peripheral ...
  • Using indices and RDW to morphologically classify anemias
      • Anemia Defined and Classified
      • Morphologic Classification of Anemias
      • Pathophysiologic Classification of Anemias
      • An 18 year old female has a CBC as part of a routine physical exam. The following results were obtained and the physician determines she is anemic. Af...
      • A patient presents with fatigue. The CBC results are as seen below:ParameterValueReference IntervalWhite blood cells (WBC)5.7 x 109/L4.0-10.0 x 109/LR...
      • Match each anemia listed below with the mechanism for the anemia.
      • A patient presents with the following measured parameters on the complete blood count:ParameterValueReference IntervalWhite blood cells (WBC)5.6 x 109...
      • The image on the right is a representative field from a peripheral blood smear. What would you expect to see on the automated blood count?
  • The significance of delta checks as it relates to red blood cell indices.
      • Delta Check Alerts Using Red Blood Cell Indices
      • An automated complete blood count produced the following red blood cell parameters: ParameterValueReference IntervalWhite blood cells (WBC)5.6 x 109/L...
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Intermediate
Target audience: Medical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians, and MLS students.
Author information: Sheryl A. Whitlock, MA.Ed, MT(ASCP)BB is the Laboratory Coordinator, Student Health Services at the University of Delaware. She also works as a microbiology and hematology technologist at Union Hospital in Maryland. Sheryl received her Masters in Education from Beaver College. She has written and contributed to numerous online and print articles in the field of laboratory medicine.
Reviewer information: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM is a Program Director for MediaLab, Inc., located in Lawrenceville, GA. She has over 30 years experience in the medical laboratory profession as a technologist, section supervisor, and laboratory manager. She also was employed for nine years by the College of American Pathologists in the Laboratory Accreditation Program. Barbara holds a Masters in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University.
Content information: This course discusses the use of red cell indices and red cell distribution width to describe a population of red blood cells. The course provides information regarding interpretation of red cell histograms that are part of the automated cell count and correlations between indices, RDWs, and peripheral blood smear observations.

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Normal Erythrocytes.  Mature erythrocytes can be described as round, elastic, non-nucleated, bi-concave discs which appear pinkish to buff colored in Wright's stained smears.  EMCHP405005


Dimorphic red cell population (double red cell population),


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Macrocytes, pernicious anemia.  Many of the macrocytes seen in this peripheral smear are larger than the diameter of the lymphocyte nucleus, and are oval in shape. These are called megalocytes, seen in pernicious anemia. EMHCP405018.


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Spherocytes.  A spherocyte is shown by the arrow.  Hereditary spherocytosis and immune hemolytic anemia are the two conditions in which an increased number of these cells are seen.EMHCP40565