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New York State Department of Health - Wadsworth Center - Cytohematology Proficiency Testing

Slide 181 [100X]        Click here for a higher resolution image.

The correct response for this red blood cell is echinocyte (crenated cell) or burr cell (code 33) . Echinocyte is derived from the greek “echinos” (spiny or sea urchin). Echinocytes are spiculated or crenated red blood cells with short evenly distributed projections. Echinocytes are not the result of a membrane abnormality but are most commonly an artifact. “They may also be found in association with uremia and pyruvate kinase deficiency and in neonates with liver disease” (Powers, LW: Diagnostic Hematology , CV Mosby Co, 1989, p.198). Few laboratories reported this cell as an acanthocyte. Unlike an acanthocyte, echinocytes possess central pallor and smaller, evenly distributed uniform projections.

Number of Responses
Percent of Laboratories
Cell Code and Type



Code 33: echinocyte (crenated cell) or burr cell



Code 30: acanthocyte

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