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Flashcards in White Blood Cell Conditions Deck (52)
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Describe the appearance of neutrophils and their function

2-3 lobes of the nuclei, light staining with lobed nucleus. Involved in responding to BACTERIAL infections


Describe the appearance of eosinophils and their function

Have a red brick colour staining with two nuclei and are involved in responding to PARASITES (e.g. helminths)


Describe the appearance of basophils and their function

Rarely seen in blood film but cytoplasm is highly granular and is involved in allergies as it's the equivalent to mast cels in the blood


Describe the appearance of monocytes and their function

Largest of the granulocytes with a kidney-bean shaped nucleus, and matures in tissues to become a macrophage


Describe the appearance of lymphocytes and their function

Large nucleus: cytoplasm ratio (very little cytoplasm visible) and involved in adaptive immunity


What are macrocytes and what may cause this?

Red cells with an increased MCV, due to liver disease or B12/folate deficiency


What are target cells and what may cause this?

Red cells with a 'target-like' appearance due to liver disease, haemoglobinopathies or iron deficiency


What are pencil cells and what may cause this?

These are where the red cells appear thin and pencil-shaped due to iron-deficiency


What are ecchinocytes and what may cause this?

These are star-shaped red cells due to liver disease


What are microcytes and what may cause this?

Red cells with a reduced MCV due to iron-deficiency or thalassaemia


What are spherocytes and what may cause this?

Spherical red cells due to hereditary spherocytosis, or autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.


What may the presence of red cell fragments in a blood film represent?

Diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC) or cardiac prosthetic valves


What are elliptocytes and what may cause this?

Thicker versions of pencil cells present due to hereditary elliptocytosis


What are tear drop poikilocytes are what may cause this?

These are red cells that are tear-drop shaped due to myelofibrosis


What are Howell-Jolly bodies and what may cause this?

Remnant of DNA in red cell due to hyposplenism or post-splenectomy


How would a malarial parasite present in a blood film?

Look's similar to an engagement ring within the red blood cells.


What is the mode of inheritance for hereditary ellpitocytosis?

Autosomal dominant


What is hereditary elliptocytosis?

Where there is a defect leading to failure of spectrum heterodimers to self-associate into heterotetramers so the normal bi-concave disc doesn't form.


How does the genetic profile affect the severity of hereditary elliptocytosis?

Homozygous (or doubly heterozygous) have severe haemolytic anaemia, whereas those who are heterozygous tend to have no ill effects until discovered under routine examination


What is immune thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP)?

Usually appears as spontaneous skin purport and mucosal bleeding that tends to affect women 15-50 and bone marrow has increased levels of megakaryocytes.


In a 23-year-old woman with easy bruising, heavy periods, petechial haemorrhages around her ankles and microcytic anaemia, what is the likely cause?

Iron-deficiency anaemia due to chronic blood loss and immune thrombocytopenia purport for the petechial haemorrhages and easy bruising.


What are the characteristic blood film signs post-splenectomy or with hyposplenism?

Irregularly contacted red cells, target cells, Howell-Jolly bodies


Why does whooping cough cause a lymphocytosis in children instead of a neutrophilia?

Whooping cough is caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria which would cause a neutrophilia in adults but lymphocytosis often occurs in response to bacterial infections in children.


A one-year-old boy presented with a recent respiratory tract infection. This had now developed into severe paroxysms of coughing. He has a normocytic anaemia with lymphocytosis. What is the likely diagnosis?

Whooping cough with bordetella pertussis, as bacterial infections in young children often lead to a lymphocytosis instead of a neutrophilia


What are the histological characteristics of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia?

Polychromasia (reticulocytosis) and normocytic anaemia with lymphocytosis


Outline the underlying pathophysiology of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

There is clonal expansion of B-cells and the bone marrow is infiltrated by lymphocytes leading to it's failure and subsequently the development of anaemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia.


What are promyelocytes?

Early granulocyte precursors characterised by bi-lobed nuclei and cytoplasmic granulation


What is acute promyelocytic leukaemia?

A type of acute myeloid leukaemia characterised by the presence of a t(15:17) translocation and the presence of DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation)


Which form of leukaemia is a t(15:17) translocation and DIC characteristic of?

Acute promyelocytic leukaemia


Why does treatment of acute promyelocytic leukaemia with chemotherapy have to be done with care?

Chemotherapy aggravates the DIC ad therefore multiple platelet transfusions and replacement of clotting factors with fresh frozen plasma have to be used.