What is the role of a reticulocyte count in the evaluation of hemolytic anemia?

Updated: May 27, 2021
  • Author: Srikanth Nagalla, MD, MS, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

An increased reticulocyte count represents increased RBC production and is a criterion for hemolysis but is not specific for hemolysis. In addition to hemolysis, increased reticulocytes may be a response to blood loss or the treatment of iron, vitamin B-12, or folate deficiencies. The reticulocyte count may be normal or low in patients with bone marrow suppression despite ongoing severe hemolysis (aplastic crisis).


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