Sunday, July 25, 2010

Answer to Case 124

Answer: Howell-Jolly Bodies
Congratulations to everyone who wrote in - you all got this correct!

Howell-Jolly bodies are basophilic nuclear remnants from when RBCs extrude their nucleus. Typically these are removed by the spleen; therefore, patients that are asplenic often have Howell-Jolly bodies in their peripheral circulation.

They are an important mimic of ring forms (trophozoites) of Plasmodium and Babesia spp., especially on thick smears. However, only the 'dot' is present, and the cytoplasmic 'ring' portion is absent, allowing the diagnosis to be made in most cases.

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