Friday, 8 October 2010

MRCP revision battle 27.7: Poikilocytosis

Poikilocytosis = abnormality of red blood cell shape.

Here's a quick crash course of the various shapes and their causes.  Blood slides are all from wiki commons.

1. Teardrop cells - myelofibrosis

2. Helmet cells - microangiopathic haemolytic anaemias

click here to link to an image covered by copyright

3. Elliptocytes = Pencil cells - seen in hereditary elliptocytosis and iron deficiency

4. Sickle cells - seen in sickle cell disease

5. Spherocytes - seen in any haemolysis and in hereditary spherocytosis

6. Target cells - seen in liver disease, post splenectomy, iron deficieny, thalassaemia, haemoglobinopathies

click here to link to an image covered by copyright

7. Acanthocyte/burr cell - acanthocytes are seen in liver disease.  Burr cells (=slightly less spikey than acanthocytes) appear in uraemia.

8. Schistocyte  = shredded red blood cells, seen in DIC, mechanical heart valves, microangiopathic diseases, haemolytic anaemias

Thats all the battles for today; as promised at the beginning  click here if you want to see some interesting pictures of what your workplace might look like if abandoned for a few years...