Red Blood Cell (RBC) Morphology (by LabCE)

2 P.A.C.E. contact hour(s)

(based on 1,852 customer ratings)

Authors: Martha MacPherson, R.T. and Marjorie A. Spahn, MT (ASCP)
Reviewers: Paul Fekete, MD, FCAP; Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)

Course provided by LabCE.

All major aspects of red cell morphology are reviewed in this richly illustrated interactive course that uses numerous photomicrographs to identify and heighten study of morphologic abnormalities in red cell size, shape, and color. This course is ideal for review by techs and students and use in continuing education and cross training.

See more courses in: Hematology

Included In These Course Packages

Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 2 hour(s)
Course number 578-027-21, approved through 4/30/2023
Course number 20-845042, approved through 4/30/2023


  • Discuss the procedure for proper red blood cell examination with respect to:
    • objective(s) used
    • area examined
  • Discuss various aspects of red cell morphology related to cell:
    • size
    • color
    • shape

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(based on 1,852 customer ratings)

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Course Outline

  • Introduction to Red Cell Morphology
      • Red Blood Cell (RBC) Morphology
      • Assessing RBC Morphology: Area of Evaluation
      • Normal RBCs
      • Abnormal RBCs
      • Artifactual Morphology
  • Red Cell Characteristics Related to Size
      • MCV and Anisocytosis
      • Normal RBC Size
      • Microcytes
      • Microcyte with Normal Hemoglobin Content
      • Macrocytes
      • Another Example of Macrocytosis
  • Red Cell Characteristics Related to Color
      • Hemoglobin Concentration
      • Normochromic Red Cells
      • Hypochromia and Hyperchromia
      • Hypochromia
      • Polychromatophilic Red Blood Cells
  • Red Cell Characteristics Related to Shape
      • Poikilocytosis
      • Red Cell Variations in Shape
      • Acanthocytes
      • Acanthocytes, continued
      • Target Cells (Codocytes)
      • Target Cells, continued
      • Teardrop Cells (Dacrocytes)
      • Teardrop Cells, continued
      • Sickle Cells (Drepanocytes)
      • Sickle Cells, continued
      • Burr Cells (Echinocytes)
      • Elliptocytes (Ovalocytes)
      • Elliptocytes, continued
      • Fragmented Red Blood Cells
      • Prekeratocytes or Blister Cells
      • Keratocytes
      • Keratocytes, continued
      • Spherocytes
      • Conditions Associated with Spherocytes
      • Stomatocytes
      • Stomatocytes, continued
      • Summary
  • Red Cell Characteristics Related to Cell Arrangement
      • Rouleaux and Autoagglutination
      • True Rouleaux
      • Artifactual Rouleaux
      • Autoagglutination
      • Another Example of Autoagglutination
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Basic
Intended Audience: This course is suitable for clinical laboratory scientists, MT and MLT students, medical students and pathology residents. 
Author Information: This course was developed by by Martha MacPherson, R.T. and Marjorie A. Spahn, MT (ASCP), and was updated by Education Materials for Health Professionals, Inc., under the supervision of Marjorie Spahn MT(ASCP). It was adapted for online use by Paul Fekete, MD, FCAP, the President and CEO of MediaLab, Inc. Current review and revision by Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP).
Course Description: This course describes in detail the morphology of RBCs and their morphological variations in regards to size, shape, and color.  
Copyright: Copyright EMHP Inc., Dayton OH. Licensed to MediaLab Inc., Dacula, GA. Web-based version produced solely by MediaLab Inc.

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MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package (by LabCE)
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Course provided by LabCE.




hypochromic red cells


elliptocytes 2


ASCLS CE's design and platform are provided by MediaLab, Inc.