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


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Microscopic Features:
  • Infects RBCs
  • Round to oval ring-shaped intracellular parasite in RBCs
  • Usually <2 micrometer in young Trophozoites
  • Later stage Trophozoites may be as big as a RBC (4-8 micrometer)
  • Schizonts & Gametocytes may be even larger than RBCs (5-10 micrometer)
  • Gametocyte forms are banana shaped and usually associated with falciparum species
Normal % blood-PB, marrow-BM, lymphoid tissue-LN:
  • PB: None
  • BM: None
  • LN: None
May Resemble:
  • Babesia infection
  • Platelet overlying red blood cell
  • Howell-Jolly body
  • Pappenheimer bodies
  • Bacterial contamination
  • Artifacts (e.g. Stain precipitate)
Differential Diagnoses:

Platelet overlying a RBC (pseudo-parasite)

Classic Immunophenotype:
  • N/A
Cartoon Image:

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  • Predominantly as an Intracellular parasite (infects RBCs) The Extracellular banana-shaped Gametocyte is usually associated with the falciparum species (clinically very significant)