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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Alpha Thalassemia. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Hemoglobin H bodies

Hemoglobin H, consisting of beta chain tetramers, is an unstable hemoglobin which forms precipitates just below the red blood cell membrane. This precipitated hemoglobin inclusion can be observed when red blood cells are stained with Brilliant Cresyl Blue (BCB).
Hemoglobin H bodies are seen as faint blue inclusions. They appear to be on the outside of the cell, resembling sugar on a gumdrop; however, in actuality these inclusions are located just inside the red blood cell's membrane and push outward.