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

Howell Jolly Bodies*

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Microscopic Features:
  • Smooth round dark blue-purple cytoplasmic inclusion
  • May be centrally located or sometimes in the periphery
  • Composed of fragments of DNA
  • Iron stain negative
Normal % blood-PB, marrow-BM, lymphoid tissue-LN:
  • PB: None
  • BM: None
  • LN: None
May Resemble:
  • Pappenheimer bodies
  • Basophilic stippling
  • Heinz body (visible only after supravital stain)
  • Hemoglobin H inclusions (visible only after supravital stain)
  • Malaria infection
  • Babesia infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Artifacts (e.g. Stain precipitate)
Differential Diagnoses:

Asplenism (No spleen as in post-splenectomy)
Severe hemolytic anemia (sometimes)

Classic Immunophenotype:
  • N/A
Cartoon Image:

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  • Note: Basophilic stippling is ribosomal 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