HematologyOutlines - Atlas
Blood/Blood Cells and Cellular Components ›› Red Blood Cells ›› Abnormal

Elliptocyte (Ovalocyte)*

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Microscopic Features:
  • Same size or slightly larger than a normal RBC
  • Usually longer and narrower than normal RBC
  • Usually has a central pallor
  • Some may be egg-shaped and some may be rod-like (sometimes referred to as pencil cells)
Normal % blood-PB, marrow-BM, lymphoid tissue-LN:
  • PB: Rare to None
  • BM: Rare to None
  • LN: Rare to None
May Resemble:
  • Teardrop cell
  • Macrocytic RBC
  • Normal Mature RBC
Differential Diagnoses:

Increased in:
Severe iron deficiency anemia
Hereditary elliptocytosis
Thalassemia (sometimes)

Classic Immunophenotype:
  • N/A
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  • Similar to what is noted in Hereditary Stomatocytosis & Hereditary Spherocytosis (HS), Hereditary Elliptocytosis is also due to an underlying RBC membrane defect (the membrane defect in Hereditary Elliptocytosis is in many instances due to spectrin, ankyrin, or protein 4.1).