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

Pappenheimer Bodies*

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Microscopic Features:
  • Irregular, small blue-purple granule aggregates in RBCs
  • The granules are usually located at the periphery of the RBC
Normal % blood-PB, marrow-BM, lymphoid tissue-LN:
  • PB: None
  • BM: None
  • LN: None
May Resemble:
  • Howell-Jolly body (iron stain negative) [Compare]
  • Basophilic stippling (iron stain negative) [Compare]
  • Heinz body (iron stain negative, visible only after supravital stain) [Compare]
  • Hemoglobin H inclusions (iron stain negative, visible only after supravital stain) [Compare]
  • Malaria infection [Compare]
  • Babesia infection [Compare]
  • Fungal infection
  • Artifacts (e.g. Stain precipitate)
Differential Diagnoses:

Sideroblastic anemia
Hemolytic anemia

Classic Immunophenotype:
  • N/A
Cartoon Image:

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  • Note: Basophilic stippling is due to┬áribosomal inclusions in RBCs, while papenheimer bodies are iron deposits, Heinz bodies are precipitated hemoglobin seen with special stain (He for Heinz and He for Hemoglobin), and Howell Jolly bodies are DNA remnants The aggregates are partially composed of Iron but visible with and without iron stain (as opposed to sideroblast's iron granules which are only visible with iron stain)

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