Acanthocytes can be found in a variety of disorders. They need to be distinguished from other conditions with abnormally shaped erythrocytes.

Features of acanthocytes:

(1) irregular distribution

(2) irregular shape

(3) absence of central pallor

(4) cells microcytic

(5) projections often pointed



(1) severe liver disease, especially cirrhosis (spur cell anemia)

(2) postsplenectomy

(3) malabsorption

(4) hypothyroidism

(5) abetalipoproteinemia

(6) McLeod phenotype of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease

(7) chorea-acanthocytosis


Neuroacanthocytosis is a term used to refer to betalipoproteinemia, McLeaod syndrome and chorea-acanthocytosis.

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