Monocytes may phagocytose red blood cells, as is shown here. The number of monocytes is increased in bacterial, protozoal, and rickettsial infections, and during recovery from any acute infection. The greatest numbers are seen in monocytic and myelomonocytic leukemia.
In summary, monocytes can be described as large cells with irregular and folded nuclei. The nuclear chromatin is fine and stains lightly. The cytoplasm is a dull gray-blue. There are many small, reddish granules scattered over the entire cell. Vacuoles are impressive in monocytes collected in an anticoagulant.
Course Section: 03. Blood Smears Stained with Wright's Stain
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