ZocdocAnswersWhat are schistocytes and dacrocytes indicative of?

Question

What are schistocytes and dacrocytes indicative of?

blood smear results

Answer

Whenever a person has a blood disorder, doctors will often order a peripheral blood smear which is a a drop of blood placed in a slide with special stains applied to it. There are many blood disorders that doctors may want to look at the peripheral smear and that includes anemia. Anemia is a disorder in which there are not enough red blood cells circulating in the blood. This may be due to low production of the cells by the bone marrow because there isn't enough materials such as the case for iron deficiency anemia, Vitamin B-12 and folic acid deficiency,or due to red blood cell destruction. When red blood cells appear abnormal in the peripheral smear it helps clue in your doctors to what may be causing the low levels of red blood cells. Schistocytes and dacrocytes are descriptive terms to describe abnormal red blood cells. Reasons red blood cells have this abnormal appearance may be due to a process called hemolytic anemia which are destruction of the red blood cells. The cells can be destroyed by antibodies the body makes against the cells or by mechanical forces as in case of people with mechanical valves for example. However, many other blood conditions can cause the cells to have this appearance. In either case, having a physician examine the smear is essential as he/she may need to refer you to a hematologist or other specialist to proper diagnose and treat the condition.

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