15 Stomatocytes

Michelle To and Valentin Villatoro

Cell Description:

Red blood cells that appear to have an area of central pallor that is slit-like (stoma) instead of circular.1 Cells are normal in size but lack it’s normal biconcavity.2 By using electron microscopy, cells instead appear “cup” or “bowl” shaped.3


Cell Formation:

Cell formation is due to a membrane defects (acquired or inherited) that results alterations in cell volume. Both an increase (hydrocytosis) and a decrease (xerocytosis) in cell volume can cause the production of stomatocytes.2


Associated Disease/Clinical States:1,2,4,5

Hereditary Stomatocytosis



Liver disease

Rh Null Disease

Drugs (effects are often reversible)


1. Rodak BF, Carr JH. Variations in shape and distribution of  erythrocytes. In: Clinical hematology atlas. 5th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Inc.; 2017. p. 93-106.

2. Jones KW. Evaluation of cell morphology and introduction to platelet and white blood cell morphology.  In: Clinical hematology and fundamentals of hemostasis. 5th ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company; 2009. p. 93-116.

3. Bain BJ. Morphology of blood cells. In: Blood cells: a practical guide [Internet]. 5th ed. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2015 [cited 2018 Jul 10]: 67-185. Available from: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/9781118817322

4. Landis-Piwowar K, Landis J, Keila P. The complete blood count and peripheral blood smear evaluation. In: Clinical laboratory hematology. 3rd ed. New Jersey:  Pearson; 2015. p. 154-77.

5. Ford J. Red blood cell morphology. Int J Lab Hematol [Internet]. 2013 Mar 9 [cited 2018 Jul 12];35(3):351–7. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/ijlh.12082


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Stomatocytes Copyright © 2019 by Michelle To and Valentin Villatoro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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