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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.

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Case Study, continued: Splenectomy Morphologies

Several erythrocyte abnormalities are present in both the upper and lower images. Many of these atypical cells are most likely present as a result of the patient's splenectomy.
Considerable anisocytosis and poikilocytosis with many teardrop cells, bite cells, fragmented forms, and a few target cells are apparent. Some of the erythrocytes in the upper image contain Howell-Jolly bodies (DNA fragments) that may be single or multiple, especially in myeloproliferative disorders. These inclusions stain negatively for iron and are eccentrically placed in the red cell cytoplasm.