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Karyn Fay, MS
Professor of Practice
Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program
Presentation Title: Hematology Morphology: The Red Blood Cells Following the Diagnostic Clues
In 400 BC, Hippocrates discerned the body had 4 humors, blood being one. He speculated that health and disease were related to the equilibrium of these humors. With the loss of blood, shock and death rapidly occurred.
It wasn’t until Anton Von Leeuwen Hoek’s microscope that the red blood cells, erythrocytes, were actually visualized.
We have since come to realize that erythrocytes are generated in the bone marrow at the urging of Erythropoietin, a hormone generated by the kidneys. The cells spend 7 days maturing in the marrow, lose their nucleus, and spend the next 120 days circulating through the vasculature distributing life giving oxygen to cells and tissues. This is accomplished utilizing hemoglobin, constructed from heme, globin, and Fe+2.
Sometimes things go awry, the equilibrium of the humors of Hippocrates shifts, and disease occurs. This can, and often does, lead to morphological changes of the erythrocytes. Understanding normal leads to understanding abnormal. These morphological changes give important diagnostic clues to the hematopathology diagnosis.
We will be investigating the variety of ways imbalances in the cell membrane and hemoglobin cause disease and how this can be detected via simple microscopy by a trained Medical Laboratory Scientist. (70% of all diagnostic information comes from the medical laboratory.) We will look at real life case studies, the changes in red cell morphology, and the final diagnosis.
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