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Blood Film

Supravital Staining of Red Cells

February 15th, 2021


Extra staining of blood films may reveal red blood cell findings not seen using typical stains.

Heinz Bodies

Heinz bodies are basophilic inclusions adjacent to the cell membrane that are seen only on supravital staining. 
These inclusions are made of denatured haemoglobin, and are a sign of oxidative haemolysis.
  • Heinz Bodies
  • Heinz Bodies
  • Causes of Heinz Bodies

  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • Unstable haemoglobins
  • Drug-induced oxidative haemolysis

Haemoglobin H Inclusions

Haemoglobin H inclusions are only seen on supravital staining. They manifest as multiple purple inclusions, causing a 'golf-ball' appearance.
  • Haemoglobin H Inclusions
Haemoglobin H inclusions are seen in haemoglobin H disease, which is a form of alpha thalassaemia.
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