Howell-Jolly body counting as a measure of splenic function. A reassessment

G. R. Corazza, L. Ginaldi, G. Zoli, M. Frisoni, G. Lalli, G. Gasbarrini, D. Quaglino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Non-surgical and surgical asplenia predisposes to fatal infections; therefore, simple, non-invasive and repeatable tests for assessing splenic function are required, even in non-specialized medical institutions. Howell-Jolly bodies are the most characteristic peripheral blood abnormality after splenectomy, but their counting is not considered a reliable measure of splenic function. In this study, in a group of splenectomized subjects and of patients with non-surgical hyposplenism, we have compared counting of Howell-Jolly bodies, stained by both the May-Grunwald/Giemsa method and the Feulgen reaction, with pitted cell counting which is considered a reliable technique for the assessment of splenic hypofunction. A significant correlation has been found between Howell-Jolly body counts, stained by either technique, and pitted cell counts (P <0.0001). Though Howell-Jolly bodies were never detectable when pitted cell counts fell between 4 and 8%, values consistent with a very mild splenic hypofunction, for pitted cell counts above 8% their increase was always associated with increasing Howell-Jolly body counts. These data suggest that, although pitted cell counting represents a more sensitive method for evaluating splenic function, Howell-Jolly body counting may still be regarded as a simple and reliable technique for identifying and monitoring those cases associated with a real risk of overwhelming infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Laboratory Haematology
Volume12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990

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Erythrocyte Inclusions
Cell Count
Splenectomy
Infection

Keywords

  • Howell-Jolly bodies
  • pitted cells
  • splenectomy
  • splenic function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this

Corazza, G. R., Ginaldi, L., Zoli, G., Frisoni, M., Lalli, G., Gasbarrini, G., & Quaglino, D. (1990). Howell-Jolly body counting as a measure of splenic function. A reassessment. Clinical and Laboratory Haematology, 12(3), 269-275.

Howell-Jolly body counting as a measure of splenic function. A reassessment. / Corazza, G. R.; Ginaldi, L.; Zoli, G.; Frisoni, M.; Lalli, G.; Gasbarrini, G.; Quaglino, D.

In: Clinical and Laboratory Haematology, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1990, p. 269-275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Corazza, GR, Ginaldi, L, Zoli, G, Frisoni, M, Lalli, G, Gasbarrini, G & Quaglino, D 1990, 'Howell-Jolly body counting as a measure of splenic function. A reassessment', Clinical and Laboratory Haematology, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 269-275.
Corazza GR, Ginaldi L, Zoli G, Frisoni M, Lalli G, Gasbarrini G et al. Howell-Jolly body counting as a measure of splenic function. A reassessment. Clinical and Laboratory Haematology. 1990;12(3):269-275.
Corazza, G. R. ; Ginaldi, L. ; Zoli, G. ; Frisoni, M. ; Lalli, G. ; Gasbarrini, G. ; Quaglino, D. / Howell-Jolly body counting as a measure of splenic function. A reassessment. In: Clinical and Laboratory Haematology. 1990 ; Vol. 12, No. 3. pp. 269-275.
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