Smear with teardrop cells

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Smear with teardrop cells

As previously mentioned, tear drop cells are present in disorders with altered splenic or bone marrow structure. Disrupted splenic cords and myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia are examples.

  • Tear drop cells appear in the peripheral blood as a response to red cell alterations by thalassemia when red cell inclusions are expelled by a stripping process through splenic cords.
  • A marrow disrupted by malignant cells may also set the stage for release of teardrop cells into the peripheral blood.
  • Importantly, teardrop cells may arise as an artifact of improper smear preparation, identified by their uniformity in pointing in the same direction.
  • In contrast, teardrops noted in the photograph are irregularly arranged and oriented in various directions. Teardrops always have pointed ends and disappear after splenectomy.