Howell-Jolly bodies

Howell-Jolly bodies are remnants of DNA in the cytoplasm of erythrocytes which are normally removed by the spleen

They are round, usually about 0.5 micrometer in diameter, and purple-staining using Wright’s stain. Typically there is only one in a cell although there may be multiple. 

Below is a diagrammatic representation of the appearance of Howell-Jolly bodies:

The presence of Howell-Jolly bodies suggests

Differentials for inclusions within the cytoplasm of an erythrocyte include: 
  • Basophilic stippling 
  • Pappenheimer bodies
  • Malaria parasites 

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