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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Normal Peripheral Blood Cells (retired 2/12/2020). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Appearance of a Band Neutrophil

A band neutrophil has moderate to abundant cytoplasm staining pale blue to pink. Present within the cytoplasm are fine lilac to pink granules. These specific granules, called neutrophilic granules, are small and somewhat resemble pencil stippling.

Notice that in the image to the right, the band neutrophil has a non-segmented nucleus. Instead, the nucleus shows an indented shape which appears similar to a horseshoe. The nucleus of a band neutrophil is typically U-shaped. Frequently, the nucleus of a band appears folded or twisted, thus making identification a bit more difficult. The nucleus stains a deep purplish-blue color, and the nuclear chromatin appears condensed, coarse, and clumped.

Band neutrophils are also referred to as stabs or simply as bands. The diameter of a band is approximately 9-16 microns, and its nuclear to cytoplasmic (N:C) ratio is approximately 1:2.