Codocytes, also referred to as target cells, are indicated by the arrows on this peripheral blood smear from a patient with sickle cell trait (Hb SA). Codocytes are cells that are present in hemoglobinopathies, thalassemia, iron deficiency, and other anemias where there is a decrease in the mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC).
Sickle cell trait will not usually show completely sickled cells because of the Hb A that is present in each cell. Hb A usually comprises greater than 60% of the hemoglobin in Hb SA.
However, rare drepanocytes (sickle cells) and occlusive crisis may be found during times of extreme exercise and fluid restriction.