The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Red Cell Disorders: Peripheral Blood Clues to Nonneoplastic Conditions. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Red Cell Disorders: Peripheral Blood Clues to Nonneoplastic Conditions (online CE course) »
How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 94 CE courses, most popular
$95 Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$50 Add to cart
Individual course$20 Add to cart


Ovalocytes/elliptocytes are oval or elliptical red blood cells that range in shape from slightly egg-shaped to rod or pencil forms. They have normal central pallor with the hemoglobin concentrated at the ends of the elongated cells. The ends of the cells are blunt and not sharp like sickle cells.
A rare ovalocyte/elliptocyte (less than 1%) may be found on almost any peripheral blood smear. However, when they comprise more than 25% of the red blood cells on the blood smear, hereditary elliptocytosis (HE) is probable.
In most cases, patients are asymptomatic while having normal red blood cell life spans, although a mild anemia may occur. Resistance to malarial infection may be a beneficial attribute of HE.