This is the bone marrow of a patient with iron deficiency. Usually the marrow reveals erythroid hyperplasia. The older erythroblasts are smaller than normal, with very dark-staining nuclei. The cytoplasm in these erythroblasts is scanty and ragged. Iron deficiency is a form of ineffective erythropoiesis as the red cells are not delivered from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood at a normal rate. An iron stain will reveal significantly decreased stores. However, it is much easier to make a diagnosis of iron deficiency by looking at the peripheral blood smear and obtaining values for the serum iron and iron-binding capacity than it is by observing the morphologic changes in the NRBCs in the bone marrow.
Course Section: 05. Nucleated Red Blood Cells
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