Hemoglobin C crystals and target cells

Hemoglobin C crystals and target cells
#00060269
Author: Teresa Scordino, MD
Category: Laboratory Hematology > Basic cell morphology >  Red Blood Cell shape abnormalities > Target cells
Published Date: 10/27/2015

Numerous target cells and scattered hemoglobin C crystals in a patient with hemoglobin C disease.   Hemoglobin C crystals are dense rectangular structures composed of precipitated hemoglobin C.  Target cells form when there is an excess of membrane in relation to cytosol.  Microcytic target cells can be seen in thalassemia and other hemoglobinopathies.  Macrocytic target cells can be seen in liver disease.  Target cells can also be seen in hyposplenic patients, or as an artifact of slide preparation.