Q:

What is poikilocytosis?

A:

Large variations in the shapes of erythrocytes (red blood cells) is a condition called poikilocytosis, according to CellaVision. These shape variations, along with other symptoms, can indicate iron-deficiency anemia in humans. Patient.co.uk reveals that abnormal sizes in red blood cells may also indicate anemia.

Poikilocytosis is a general term because clinicians must determine what causes the variations in shapes. MediaLab Incorporated states that accurate diagnosis of red blood cell morphology is possible through scanning electron microscope technology. Such scans greatly increased hematologists' understanding of abnormal red blood cells.

Confirming an anemia diagnosis may include detecting the presence of these abnormally shaped cells, measuring serum ferritin and checking hemoglobin levels in blood. Patient.co.uk indicates that iron-deficiency anemia can be solved by diet and iron supplements as prescribed by a doctor.

Examples of abnormally shaped red blood cells include spherocytes, stomatocytes, target cells, leptocytes, sickle cells, elliptocytes, acanthocytes and echinocytes. Each of these different shapes may indicate a different blood disorder. "Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations" reveals identifying these shapes is crucial to diagnosis of blood diseases and disorders.

Poikilocytosis can indicate liver disease in cats. Resources from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine state that chemotherapy can cause abnormal shapes in blood cells. Poikilocytosis also points to problems in goats and other young ruminants.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are normal levels for a CBC blood test?

    A:

    The normal red blood cell counts are 4.32 to 5.72 trillion cells per liter for males and 3.90 to 5.03 trillion cells per liter for women, explains Mayo Clinic. Normal levels for a complete blood count, or CBC, test typically vary by gender and type of test.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens during atrial systole?

    A:

    During atrial systole, the atria contract and force blood into the ventricles, according to the medical library of the University of Utah. Atrial systole typically increases ventricular blood volume by 10 percent, but that volume can rise to as much as 40 percent when the heart rate is elevated, notes RnCeus.com.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where does blood travel after it leaves the right ventricle?

    A:

    According to About.com, the right ventricle, one of the heart's four chambers, pumps de-oxygenated blood into the main pulmonary artery. From there, the blood is directed into the lungs where it gathers oxygen before going through the pulmonary veins to another chamber, the left atrium.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are veins blue?

    A:

    Veins are blue in color because light wavelengths are filtered differently by the skin. Blue and red light have different wavelengths, making them penetrate the skin to different degrees, which results in the blue color of the veins. Veins are the blood vessels in the circulatory system that transport oxygenated blood from the body tissues back to the heart.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore