Jump to: navigation, search
Reticulocytes [1]

WikiDoc Resources for Reticulocytes


Most recent articles on Reticulocytes

Most cited articles on Reticulocytes

Review articles on Reticulocytes

Articles on Reticulocytes in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Reticulocytes

Images of Reticulocytes

Photos of Reticulocytes

Podcasts & MP3s on Reticulocytes

Videos on Reticulocytes

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Reticulocytes

Bandolier on Reticulocytes

TRIP on Reticulocytes

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Reticulocytes at Clinical

Trial results on Reticulocytes

Clinical Trials on Reticulocytes at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Reticulocytes

NICE Guidance on Reticulocytes


FDA on Reticulocytes

CDC on Reticulocytes


Books on Reticulocytes


Reticulocytes in the news

Be alerted to news on Reticulocytes

News trends on Reticulocytes


Blogs on Reticulocytes


Definitions of Reticulocytes

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Reticulocytes

Discussion groups on Reticulocytes

Patient Handouts on Reticulocytes

Directions to Hospitals Treating Reticulocytes

Risk calculators and risk factors for Reticulocytes

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Reticulocytes

Causes & Risk Factors for Reticulocytes

Diagnostic studies for Reticulocytes

Treatment of Reticulocytes

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Reticulocytes


Reticulocytes en Espanol

Reticulocytes en Francais


Reticulocytes in the Marketplace

Patents on Reticulocytes

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Reticulocytes

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells, typically composing about 1% of the red cells in the human body, that have a network of bosophilic substance represnting residual polyribosomes. Reticulocytes develop and mature in the red bone marrow and then circulate for about a day in the blood stream before developing into mature red blood cells. Like mature red blood cells, reticulocytes do not have a cell nucleus. They are called reticulocytes because of a reticular (mesh-like) network of ribosomal RNA that becomes visible under a microscope with certain stains such as new methylene blue.


To accurately measure reticulocyte counts, automated counters that use lasers mark cell samples with fluorescent dye that marks RNA and DNA (such as thiazole orange).[2] This distinguishes reticulocytes as the middle ground of dye response to laser light, between red blood cells (which have neither RNA nor DNA) and lymphocytes (which have a large amount of DNA, unlike reticulocytes).[3]

The normal range of values for reticulocytes in the blood depends on the clinical situation and the lab, but broadly speaking is 0.5% to 1.5%. However, if a person has anaemia, their reticulocyte percentage should be higher than "normal" if the bone marrow to produce new blood cells remains intact. Thus, calculating the reticulocyte production index is an important step in understanding whether the reticulocyte count is appropriate or inappropriate to the situation. This is often a more important question than whether the percentage is in the normal range; for instance, if someone is anemic but only has a reticulocyte percentage of 1%, this means that the bone marrow is likely not producing new blood cells at a rate that will correct the anemia. The number of reticulocytes is a good indicator of bone marrow activity, because it represents recent production. This means that the reticulocyte count, and the reticulocyte production index that can be calculated from it, can be used to determine whether a production problem is contributing to the anaemia, and can also be used to monitor the progress of treatment for anaemia.

The specimen requirement for a reticulocyte count is EDTA anti-coagulated whole blood (lavender-top bottle if using the Vacutainer, Vacuette or Monoject systems; red-top if using the S-Monovette system).

When there is an increased production of red blood cells to overcome chronic or severe loss of mature red blood cells, such as in a haemolytic anaemia, people often have a markedly high number and percentage of reticulocytes. A very high number of reticulocytes in the blood can be described as reticulocytosis.

Abnormally low numbers of reticulocytes can be attributed to chemotherapy, aplastic anaemia, pernicious anaemia, bone marrow malignancies, problems of erythropoietin production, various vitamin or mineral deficiencies (B9, B12, iron), disease states (anemia of chronic disease) and other causes of anaemia due to poor RBC production.

Reticulocytes appear slightly bluer than other red cells when looked at with the normal Romanowsky stain. Reticulocytes are also slightly larger, which can be picked up as a high MCV (mean corpuscular volume) with a full blood count done by a trained medical scientist, who has specialized in haematology, or a machine.

Reference Range
Newborns/infants 6-30/1000 (0.6-3%)
Adults 5-20/1000 (0.5-2%)


Differential Diagnosis

In alphabetical order. [4] [5]

Increased erythropoiesis

Reticulocyte index >3%
Reticulocyte count >1.5%

Reduced erythropoiesis

Reticulocyte index <1%
Reticulocyte count <0.5%


  2. Davis BH, Bigelow NC (1994). "Reticulocyte analysis and reticulocute maturity index". In Darzynkiewicz Z, Crissman HA (eds.). Flow cytometry. Methods in Cell Biology. 42. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 263&ndash, 74. ISBN 0-12203-052-4.
  4. Sailer, Christian, Wasner, Susanne. Differential Diagnosis Pocket. Hermosa Beach, CA: Borm Bruckmeir Publishing LLC, 2002:77 ISBN 1591032016
  5. Kahan, Scott, Smith, Ellen G. In A Page: Signs and Symptoms. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2004:68 ISBN 140510368X

External links

id:Retikulosit he:רטיקולוציט sq:Retikulociti fi:Retikulosyytti