Erythrocyte Inclusions (Online Course)

(based on 1377 customer ratings)

Authors: Marjorie A. Spahn, MT (ASCP); Marybeth Fannon, MA, MT (ASCP)
Reviewer: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)

This course describes and richly illustrates various erythrocyte inclusions, including basophilic stippling, Cabot rings, Pappenheimer bodies, siderotic granules, and Howell-Jolly bodies, making it productive for CE, exam reviewing, and cross training.

See all available courses »

Continuing Education Credits


  • Identify erythrocyte inclusions that may be observed on a Wright or Wright-Giemsa stained peripheral blood smear.
  • Identify erythrocyte inclusions that require staining methods other than Wright or Wright-Giemsa stain to be visualized on a peripheral blood or bone marrow smear.
  • Discuss the composition and formation of various erythrocyte inclusions.
  • Identify diseases or disorders associated with various erythrocyte inclusions.

Customer Ratings

(based on 1377 customer ratings)

Course Outline

  • Introduction to erythrocyte inclusions
      • What are Erythrocyte Inclusions?
      • The presence of erythrocyte inclusions may indicate the presence of disease.
  • Characteristics of polychromatophilic red cells (Reticulocytes)
      • Reticulocytes
      • Normal Erythrocytes
      • Polychromatophilic Red Blood Cells (RBCs)
      • Polychromatophilic Cells, continued
      • Stress Reticulocytes
      • Which of the following statements characterize a reticulocyte?
      • While performing a peripheral blood smear review, you observe the cells indicated by the arrows on this Wright-Giemsa-stained slide. How would you cla...
  • Characteristics of Basophilic Stippling
      • Basophilic Stippling
      • Example of Fine Basophilic Stippling
      • Coarse Basophilic Stippling
      • Coarse Basophilic Stippling, continued
      • What is the composition of the granules associated with basophilic stippling?
      • In which of the following disorders would you probably observe coarse basophilic stippling on a Wright-stained peripheral blood smear?
  • Characteristics of Howell-Jolly Bodies
      • Howell-Jolly Bodies
      • Howell-Jolly Body
      • Examples of Howell-Jolly Bodies
      • Howell-Jolly Body in Nucleated Red Cell
      • What is the composition of Howell-Jolly bodies?
      • If present, how many Howell-Jolly bodies are usually seen within a given erythrocyte?
      • In which of the following conditions would you expect to find Howell-Jolly bodies?
      • What abnormality is present in this slide?
  • Characteristics of Pappenheimer bodies and Siderotic granules
      • Pappenheimer Bodies
      • Pappenheimer Bodies, continued
      • Pappenheimer Bodies, continued
      • Basophilic Stippling contrasted with Pappenheimer Bodies
      • Howell-Jolly Bodies and Pappenheimer Bodies
      • Comparison of Erythrocyte Inclusions
      • Siderotic Granules
      • Siderocytes and Ringed Sideroblasts in Bone Marrow
      • Siderocyte
      • Sideroblast
      • Match the descriptions below with the erythrocyte inclusions from the drop down box that they describe. The descriptions refer to the appearance of th...
      • Which of the following is NOT present in normal bone marrow and would be associated with a disease or disorder?
      • The inclusions that are indicated by the arrows on this Wright-Giemsa stained peripheral blood smear are most likely Pappenheimer bodies.
      • The cell that is indicated by the arrow in this Prussian-blue stained bone marrow smear is a ringed sideroblast.
  • Characteristics of Cabot Rings
      • Cabot Rings
      • Cabot Rings, continued
      • Cabot Rings, continued
      • Which of the following statements best describes the appearance of Cabot rings?
      • In which of the following conditions might Cabot rings be observed in erythrocytes on a Wright-stained peripheral blood smear?
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Intended Audience: Medical laboratory personnel including medical laboratory scientists, medical technologists, medical laboratory technicians. Also appropriate for medical laboratory students, and pathology residents.

Course Description: This course identifies, describes, and illustrates red blood cell inclusions as they are observed on Wright or Wright-Giemsa-stained peripheral smears. Additional staining procedures that make possible or enhance identification of some erythrocyte inclusions are also discussed. Numerous practice and exam questions reinforce visual recognition skills.

About this Course: This revised course was originally part of a series of courses adapted for the web by MediaLab Inc. under license from Educational Materials for Health Professionals Inc. Dayton OH, 45420. Copyright EMHP Inc.


polychromasia_erythrocyte course

ring sideroblast_best

Pappenheimer iron stain

q15 pappenheimer

q15 HJ body

q15 Cabot ring

q15 baso stippling