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October 10, 1966

Erythrocytic Inclusions, Their Diagnostic Significance and Pathology

Author Affiliations


From the Pathology Service, Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1966;198(2):151-156. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110150099028

The erythrocyte is the only cell in the human body which normally has no nucleus throughout its functional lifetime. Unbothered by the concerns of reproduction and further differentiation, it pursues its career as an indispensable member of the body's cellular team with an unmarred, vacant countenance. For the visage of a red blood cell to develop a blemish is an unusual phenomenon and deserves the observer's attention because it often is an indication of disease. Correct diagnosis may depend on recognition of red cell cytoplasmic inclusions. The erythrocytic inclusions to be discussed in this paper are itemized in the Table with pertinent comments.

Splenic Functions  Two functions of the spleen pertinent to red cells are to "cull" defective or malformed erythrocytes from the circulation and to "pit" intracellular inclusions from erythrocytes which contain them.1 By the former is meant that the spleen monitors the red cells which journey through