Reticulocyte Count

What Is Reticulocyte Count?

A reticulocyte count is a lab test that measures the amount of immature red blood cells (reticulocytes) in your body. Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells that have just been made in the bone marrow. Having too few or too many of these cells can be a sign of certain health problems.

Types of Reticulocytes

There are two types of reticulocytes: “normoblasts” and “reticuloblasts”. Normoblasts are more mature cells, while reticuloblasts are the less mature cells.

Why Do Doctors Request Reticulocyte Counts?

Doctors may request a reticulocyte count in order to diagnose or monitor a variety of conditions that affect the number and production of red blood cells. This includes anemia, leukemia, or conditions that cause bone marrow failure.

When Is A Reticulocyte Count Requested?

A reticulocyte count may be requested when a person has symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue or shortness of breath. It may also be requested when your doctor suspects a disorder that affects the bone marrow, such as leukemia.

What Are The Risks Of A Reticulocyte Count?

A reticulocyte count is a simple lab test that has few risks. The most common possible risk is from the needle stick or vein puncture used to draw the lab sample. This can result in pain, bruising, or bleeding.

Preparation for a Reticulocyte Count

No special preparation is needed for a reticulocyte count. However, if you are having an extensive set of laboratory tests, you may need to fast for a certain period of time prior to the testing.

Procedure Of Reticulocyte Count

A reticulocyte count is performed by taking a sample of blood from a vein. The sample is then processed in a lab and a machine measures the number of reticulocytes present in the blood. The results are reported as a percentage.