Before you study the abnormal red blood cells you should know what artifacts you may expect to see in stained slides. Appearing on this slide is one of the most common artifacts: air holes in the red cells. On the right side of this slide the holes appear colorless. When the cells are slightly out of focus, as is seen on the left, the holes appear black. By changing the focus on the erythrocytes we can determine if they contain air holes or if they are true inclusions, as the latter remain in focus with the cell. Air holes are always refractile. The artifact can be prevented by first dipping the slide in absolute methyl alcohol and drying before staining.
Course Section: 01. Description of Red Blood Cells
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