Blood/Blood Cells and Cellular Components ›› Red Blood Cells ›› Abnormal

Target Cell RBC*

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Microscopic Features:
  • About the same size as a normal RBC
  • Round shape
  • Bull's eye appearance (resembles the Target sign)
Normal % blood-PB, marrow-BM, lymphoid tissue-LN:
  • PB: Rare to None
  • BM: Rare to None
  • LN: Rare to None
May Resemble: Differential Diagnoses:

Increased in:
Hemoglobinopathies (C, SC, or E disease)
Liver disease
Artifact of slow drying of blood smear
Iron deficiency anemia (sometimes)

Classic Immunophenotype:
  • N/A
Cartoon Image:

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  • Increased surface membrane to volume ratio gives rise to a central darker hemoglobinized region within the area of central pallor

Content Editors/Website Administrators:
Hooman H. Rashidi, MD; John C. Nguyen, MD