Blood Smear Test- Why am I having this test?
Blood smear test is performed to identify diseases and medicines that affect red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets.
It can also be used to diagnose hereditary diseases or acquired diseases, such as leukemia and some infections.
What is being tested?
A sample of blood is stained and examined under a microscope. This test can identify leukemia, infection (such as some parasitic diseases), and other blood disorders.
What kind of sample is taken?
A blood sample is required for this test. It is usually collected by sticking a finger with a small needle. For infants, the blood sample is usually collected by sticking the child’s heel with a small needle.
How are the results reported?
Your results may be reported in terms of number, shape, size, and color of cells of each cell type. For this test, normal results are:
- Normal quantity of RBCs, WBCs, and platelets.
- Normal size, shape, and color of RBCs.
- Normal count of various types of WBCs (WBC count differential).
- Normal size and appearance of platelets.
What do the results mean?
Findings that are not normal may be described as “abnormal” or further described in terms of the number, size, shape, or color of the blood cells.
that are smaller than normal size or paler than normal color (hypochromia)
may be seen in:
- Iron deficiency.
- Certain hereditary conditions that lead to abnormalities in the key oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells (hemoglobin).
that are larger than normal size may be seen in:
- Vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency.
- Conditions that increase RBC production (reticulocytosis).
- Liver disorders.
- RBCs that have more color than normal (hyperchromia) may be seen with dehydration.
shape abnormalities may be seen in:
- Certain hereditary conditions that affect RBCs or hemoglobin.
- Certain acquired immune conditions that lead to a low RBC count (anemia).
- Iron deficiency.
- Advanced kidney disease (uremia).
- Liver disease.
structures inside RBCs can be seen in:
- Several types of anemia.
- Lead poisoning.
- People without a functioning spleen.
increased number of immature WBCs can indicate:
decreased number of WBCs can be seen when the bone marrow fails to produce
WBCs, which can occur:
- After exposure to certain medicines.
- In chronic disease.
- In cancer.
that are smaller or larger than normal size or paler than normal in color
may be seen due to:
- Certain hereditary conditions that affect platelets.
- Immune conditions where the immune system attacks platelets.
- Types of cancer that cause an increase in platelet production.
Talk with your health care provider about what your results mean.
Questions to ask your health care provider
Ask your health care provider, or the department that is doing the test:
- When will my results be ready?
- How will I get my results?
- What are my treatment options?
- What other tests do I need?
- What are my next steps?
- A blood smear test is performed to identify diseases and medicines that affect red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets.
- This test examines your blood cells for normal number, size, shape, and color. An abnormal finding may indicate the presence of a condition or disease.
- Talk with your health care provider about what your results mean.