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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Red Blood Cell (RBC) Morphology. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Additional examples of hypochromic cells are seen on this slide. Notice the thin rim of hemoglobin and the large area of central pallor present in most of these cells. Hypochromic cells are cells that are unusually thin, or in which the hemoglobin concentration is decreased. Decreased hemoglobin concentration can be caused by decreased amounts of iron available for hemoglobin production. The MCHC for this patient was significantly decreased (26 gm/dL of RBCs), indicating a severe degree of hypochromia. When hypochromia is less severe, not all cells will be affected; thus some cells may appear almost normal whereas others are hypochromic.