Health Questions and Answers

What are the two most helpful laboratory investigations in the initial evaluation of anemia?

The reticulocyte count and review of the peripheral blood film are the basis of a methodical approach to anemia. The peripheral blood film will demonstrate whether or not important abnormalities of red blood cell (RBC) shape, size, or hemoglobinization exist. In addition, an impression of the white blood cell (WBC) count and platelet count can be obtained. RBCs must also be examined for the presence of inclusions (such as Howell-Jolly bodies)

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