A Heinz body is an inclusion that cannot be seen on Wright's stain because it consists of denatured hemoglobin and stains the same color as the red cell. Heinz bodies must be stained with a protein stain that stains the globin part of the molecule. The stain that is used in many laboratories for Heinz bodies is crystal violet. The blood shown here was stained with this. The blood was obtained from a patient with G6PD deficiency who was given phenacetin, a strong oxidant drug. Most cases of Heinz body anemia are seen with intake of oxidant chemicals, unstable hemoglobin (tested by heat stability or isopropanol), or following splenectomy.
Course Section: 02. Inclusions Found in Red Blood Cells
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