Clinical Pathology: General Principles, Lab Management, Hematology & Coagulation

429a) The red cell in the center of the figure is most consistent with which one of the following?

• Schistocytes are fragmented red blood cells, often showing a half-disk shape with two or three pointed extremities; they may be a small, irregular fragment.

• Schistocytes can be found in the microangiopathic hemolytic anemias, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

• Because TTP is lethal unless treated with plasmapheresis or plasma infusion, the correct reporting of schistocytes can be of utmost clinical importance.

• Schistocytes can also be seen in patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation.

• Other conditions in which schistocytes can be seen include severe burns, march hemoglobinuria, and heart valve hemolysis.

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