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USMLE Step 1 Buzzwords Buzzwords that should ring a bell in USMLE Step 1 exam.

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Old 04-22-2011
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RBC Red Blood Cell Buzzwords

Here are some clues for when you see a RED BLOOD CELL description in the question -

When referring to shapes or appearance -
  • Spherocytes - hereditary spherocytosis or autoimmune hemolytic anemia or in a patient with burns.
  • Elliptocytes - hereditary elliptocytosis
  • Target Cells - thalassemia, liver disease or hemoglobinopathies
  • Anisocytosis - size related abnormality
  • Poikilocytosis - shape related abnormality
  • Acanthocytes - abetalipoproteinemia
  • Echinocytes (blurr cells) - uermia
  • Schistocytes - microangiopathic hemolytic anemia or hemolysis
  • Teardrop cells (dacrocytes) - thalassemia and myelofibrosis
  • Bite Cells - G6PD deficiency
  • Sickle cells (drepanocytes) - Sickle cell anemia
  • Rouleaux - "stacks of coins" - multiple meyloma

When referring to inclusions of the RBC -
  • Basophilic stippling - lead poisoning & reticulocytosis
  • Howell-Jolly bodies - patients without spleen (asplenia)
  • Pappenheimer bodies - following splenectomy
  • Ring sideroblasts - sideroblastic anemia
  • Heinz bodies - G6PD deficiency
Feel free to add to the list
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Poikilocytosis Conversations This thread Refback 05-20-2011 12:51 PM
Basophilic Stippling Patient Experiences This thread Refback 05-08-2011 10:05 AM

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