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Poikilocytosis refers to the presence in the blood of poikilocytes. Poikilocytes are abnormally shaped red blood cells as seen on a blood film. Rather than being seen as a sign of any one disease, poikilocytosis is a rather general condition. There may, however be a predominance of one particular type of abnormally shaped red cells, some of which may indicate possible presence of a specific disease or disorder. Normal red blood cells are round, flattened disks that are thinner in the middle than at the edges, whereas a poikilocyte may a distortion of that normal shape, or an entirely different shape. Generally, poikilocytosis can refer to an increase in abnormal red blood cells of any shape where they make up 10% or more of the total population.
Causes of poikilocytosis
Abnormal red blood cells are seen in a wide range of conditions, so poikilocytosis is not specific. However, specific types of poikilocytes may be seen in particular disease states and/or disorders.
In all cases, the treatment of poikilocytosis depends on its cause. For example, poikilocytosis can be caused by a vitamin deficiency, in which case the treatment is to take Vitamin B12 or folic acid. It can be caused by a digestive disease, such as celiac disease, in which case the solution may lie in treating the underlying celiac disease so that nutrients can be properly absorbed.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Poikilocytosis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|