TIL that, besides sickle cells, there are nine other types of Pokilocytes or misshapen red blood cells. These include: spherocytes (round), elliptocytes (oval) and dacrocytes (tear-drop). The causes and effects are as varied as the shapes.

Read more: https://www.healthline.com/health/poikilocytosis#causes

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  1. Biology professor. A student asked me about spherocytes during our genetics unit on sickle-cell anemia to see if they were connected. I had never heard of them. Turns out that while sickle cells are caused by a mutation in the hemoglobin protein, spherocytes are mostly caused by a mutation in red blood cell membrane proteins. Did more research and found all these others. Love when my students teach me new things!

  2. … it’s interesting. I seem to be amazed every time human-medicine people mention things I get to see in veterinary medicine. It just… I don’t know, it tickles my heart.

    I wonder if human blood smears have peculiarities, like how cats have the *pinkest* eosinophils.

  3. My daughter is one of the rare ones who lives with hereditary spherocytosis. She was undiagnosed when she was 4 years old and went into a crisis that nearly took her little life. A splenectomy was performed after she was stabilized and her spleen came in at a whopping 6 pounds, completely engorged with blood. It’s amazing that she survived. Such a tough start, my poor baby 😔

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