Monday, August 16, 2010

Reticulocyte Count (RC)

Reticulocyte Count (RC)

Introduction

The reticulocyte count is a fairly accurate reflection of erythropoietic activity therefore their number increases whenever red blood cells (RBCs) are being rapidly manufactured.

Normal Range

Adults: 0.5 – 1.85 % of erythrocytes, absolute count – 29,000 – 87, 000/cu.mm.

Newborn: 2.5 – 6.5 %, falls to adult range by second week of life.

Indications

·        Diagnosis of inffective erythropoiesis or decreased RBC formation

·        Increase indicates effective RBC production used as: Index of therapeutic response to iron, folate or vitamin B12 therapy and blood loss; monitor treatment response after bone marrow suppression and transplantation; monitor response to erythropoietin therapy.

Increased in

 After blood loss or increased RBC destruction, after iron therapy, after specific therapy for megaloblastic anemia and other hematologic conditions like polycythemia, metastatic carcinoma in bone marrow.

 Decreased in   

Ineffective erythropoiesis or decreased RBC formation (severe autoimmune type  of hemolytic disease, megaloblastic disorders), alcoholism, myxedema.

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