A 20-year-old splenectomized woman with hemolytic anemia, diagnosed at the age of 3 years with congenital dyserythropoietic anemia type I, was referred to our institution for re-examination of 2 unusual features: high red blood cell (RBC) pyruvate kinase (PK) activity and methemoglobinemia.
"We performed supravital staining with brilliant cresyl blue to determine reticulocyte numbers. Many cells displayed the blue-stained reticulum characteristic of reticulocytes. In addition, inclusion bodies
reminiscent of Heinz bodies were noted"
Supravital staining is very rarely used in current hematological laboratory practice. In this case, it enabled us to reliably
estimate reticulocyte numbers and provided a clue toward revision of the diagnosis in this patient.
Revision of the diagnosis of a case of hereditary hemolytic anemia by supravital staining
Image credits: ASH Image Bank