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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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Hypochromia and Hyperchromia

RBCs that are hypochromic have decreased amounts of hemoglobin. An MCHC <32 g/dL reflects this condition, which is illustrated in the upper image on the right.
Hyperchromia means increase in color. The only cells that are truly hyperchromic are spherocytes. Spherocytes are the only cells that contain more hemoglobin than normal in relation to the cell volume. The arrows in the lower image on the right point to spherocytes.
Cells located in the "too thin" portion of the smear may appear to be hyperchromic; however, this is an artifact. Macrocytes, which appear to have increased amounts of hemoglobin, have an MCHC value within normal limits, indicating that the cells, although larger than normal, are normochromic.