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n. (context pathology English) Presence in the blood of red blood cells with abnormal shape or an entirely different shape


Poikilocytosis refers to the presence of poikilocytes in the blood. Poikilocytes are abnormally shaped red blood cells as seen on a blood film in humans and many wild and domestic species of animals, though they are common in some clinically normal small ruminants, particularly goats.

Normal red blood cells are round, flattened disks that are thinner in the middle than at the edges. A poikilocyte is an abnormally shaped cell. Generally, poikilocytosis can refer to an increase in abnormal red blood cells of any shape where they make up 10% or more of the total population.