Heinz body preparation - blood

Last updated: Friday, 02, April, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

5 mL blood in EDTA.

Method

Fresh blood incubated with supravital stain and examined by microscopy for presence of stained inclusions close to the red cell membrane (Heinz bodies).

Reference Interval

Not detected.

Application

Investigation of haemolysis (when fragmented spherocytes seen on blood film) or with history of exposure to oxidant chemical or drug.

Interpretation

Heinz bodies are denatured globin, and represent the end-product of oxidative degradation of haemoglobin.

Heinz bodies may be detected post-splenectomy, with oxidative haemolysis (in normals, but particularly in patients with G-6-PD deficiency) and in patients with unstable haemoglobinopathies.

Reference

Dacie JV and Lewis SM. Practical Haematology. 8th ed. Churchill Livingstone 1995.