Poorana Priya and Subhashree used the absolute reticulocyte count to help guide the evaluation of a patient with pancytopenia. This can help reduce the frequency of unnecessary bone marrow aspirates. The authors are from Sree Balaji Medical College & Hospital and Bharath University in India.

Patient selection: pancytopenia



(1) absolute reticulocyte count


absolute reticulocyte count in 10^9/L =

= (RBC count in 10^9/L) * (reticulocyte count in percent)



• The RBC count is usually expressed in 10^12/L.


Absolute Reticulocyte Count

Possible Causes

Additional Studies

< 25 * 10^9/L

aplastic anemia

bone marrow aspirate

25 to 50 *10^9/L

nutritional anemia, myelodysplasia

iron, vitamin B12, folate; if normal perform bone marrow aspirate

51 to 99 * 10^9/L



>= 100 * 10^9/L

sepsis, malaria, infiltrative disorder

blood culture, smear review; if negative perform bone marrow aspirate


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