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Blood film results

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RBCs with increased variability in size, suggests iron deficiency anemia, haemolytic anemias
increase in size of RBC central pallor, suggests iron deficiency anemia, anemia of chronic disease, sideroblastic anemia
increased reticulocytes (pinkish-blue cells), indicates increased RBC production
increased proportion of RBCs of abnormal shape, suggests iron deficiency anaemia or myelofibrosis
spherical RBC, characteristic of hereditary spherocytosis
fragmented RBC, characteristic of a traumatic haemolytic anaemia
sickle cell
sickle-shaped RBC, characteristic of sickle cell anaemia
pencil cell
elongated RBC, seen in iron deficiency anaemia and hereditary elliptocytosis
Rouleaux formation
aggregates of RBCs resembling stacks of coins, seen in pregnancy
target cell
"bulls-eye" appearance of RBC, characteristic of thalassemia
Heinz body
denatured Hb seen within RBCs, characteristic of G6PD deficiency
basophilic stippling
deep blue granulations seen within RBCs, characteristic of thalassemia
Reed-Sternberg cell
giant, multinucleated B-lymphocyte, suggests Hodgkin lymphoma
smudge cell
Lymphocytes damaged during blood smear preparation indicating cell fragility, suggests CLL
hypersegmented neutrophil
neutrophil with > 5 lobes, suggests B12 or folate deficiency
left shift
increase in granulocyte precursors, seen in acute infections, pregnancy, hypoxia, shock, CML
Immature, undifferentiated precursor, characteristic of an acute leukaemia, MDS or severe infection
Auer rod
Long, needle-like inclusions seen in the cytoplasm of myeloblasts, pathognomonic for AML