Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Reticulocyte Count (% and absolute value)

#Reticulocyte Count (% and absolute values)

Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells produced in the bone marrow and released into the peripheral blood where they mature into RBCs within 1 to 2 days. An increase or decrease in reticulocyte count can be an index to measure erythropoietic activity or failure following anaemia, haemorrhage and bone marrow dysfunction. Reticulocyte count is a component of the FBC that measures the compensatory ability of the bone marrow to replenish red cells in circulation. The reticulocyte count is reported as the percentage of reticulocytes divided by the total number of red blood cells x 100. The reference range of the reticulocyte percentage in adults is 0.5% to 2.5% in adults and 2% to 6%.

Reticulocyte count play a role in the diagnosis of the following conditions:

  • Anaemia
  • Bone marrow aplasia
  • It can help in monitoring patients on chemotherapy, radiotherapy, engraftment following a bone marrow transplant and following treatment for Fe deficiency anaemia.


Conditions Associated with a low Reticulocyte count:

  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Nutritional deficiency (Folic acid and vitamin B-12 deficiency)
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Bone marrow failure due to effect of drug toxicity, infection or cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Side effects from chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Hypo proliferative disorders
  • Iron deficiency anaemia

Conditions Associated with a high Reticulocyte count

  • Increased premature destruction (haemolytic anaemia)
  • At high altitudes due to hypoxia.
  • Haemolytic Disease of the Foetus and Newborn (HDFN)
  • Chronic Blood Loss [51]

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