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

(based on 722 customer ratings)

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

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

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1 hour(s)
Course number 578-094-16, approved through 12/31/2018
Course number 20-560467, approved through 9/1/2018

Objectives

  • Identify red blood cell (RBC) parameters reported by automated blood cell counters.
  • Relate observed RBC morphology to red cell parameters reported by automated blood cell counters.
  • Apply red cell distribution data to the RBC population observed on the peripheral smear.
  • Relate measured red cell parameters to anemias.
  • Discuss the significance of delta checks in relation to red blood cell indices.

Customer Ratings

(based on 722 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 performed as part of a routine physical exam. The following results are obtained and the physician determines she is a...
      • A patient presents with fatigue. The CBC results are:ParameterValueReference IntervalWhite blood cells (WBC)5.7 x 109/L4.0-10.0 x 109/LRed blood cells...
      • 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 CBC produced the following parameters: ParameterValueReference IntervalWhite blood cells (WBC)5.6 x 109/L4.0-10.0 x 109/LRed blood cells ...
  • 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) has over 40 years of experience in the medical laboratory profession as a technologist, section supervisor, and laboratory manager. She was an Inspection and Technical Specialist for nine years with the College of American Pathologists in the Laboratory Accreditation Program and, until her retirement in 2015, was Program Director for MediaLab, Inc. 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.

403 67.jpg
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),
macrocytes hetero edit
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.
microcytes
question NRBCs Thalassemia
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
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403 67.jpg


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),


macrocytes hetero edit


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.


microcytes


question NRBCs Thalassemia


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