Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 623-624
An easy way of performing reticulocyte count by manual method

Department of Pathology, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

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Date of Web Publication12-Jan-2018

How to cite this article:
Adhya AK. An easy way of performing reticulocyte count by manual method. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2017;60:623-4

How to cite this URL:
Adhya AK. An easy way of performing reticulocyte count by manual method. Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Sep 24];60:623-4. Available from:


Reticulocyte count is a routine test in hematology laboratories. It can be done by manual counting of the reticulocytes on a peripheral blood smear-stained with new methylene blue or by automated hematology cell counters.[1],[2] Manual method is easy to perform and preferred by most laboratories. The usual method is to count the number of reticulocytes and red blood cells (RBCs) under oil immersion field and calculate the percentage of reticulocytes per 100 RBCs. Using an eye piece with an adjustable diaphragm reduces the field size and counting of cells is easier.[3] If such an arrangement is not available, pathologists prefer to insert a paper or cardboard with a hole in the eye piece to reduce the field size. We found an easier alternative method of reducing the field size. In this method, a small circle is made on the eye piece [Figure 1]a with a permanent marker pen. When seen with one eye, the circle appears in the field of vision [Figure 1]b. The reticulocyte count now can be easily done by counting the cells within the circle mark. Thus insertion of paper or cardboard with a hole is no more necessary. Further, if a similar circle is put on the other eye piece precisely of same size and at similar point as that of the first mark, then binocular vision is also possible. Both circles will concur in the field of vision. The marks can be easily erased after performing the reticulocyte count and redrawn later when required. To validate this method, we compared the results obtained on ten reticulocyte preparations. We included low-, normal-, and high-value samples [Table 1]. The results obtained were statistically analyzed using Student's t-test. The analysis revealed t = 0.02815 and P = 0.488925. The result indicates that there is no significant difference between the reticulocyte count obtained by the conventional method and the present newer method. Hence, this method yields results similar to conventional methods and can be used routinely in hematology laboratories for reticulocyte count.
Figure 1: (a) Photograph to show the circle mark put on the eye piece of a binocular microscope, (b) photomicrograph of the reticulocyte preparation showing the same mark in the field of vision

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Table 1: Comparison of conventional method and the present method of manual reticulocyte count done on ten cases

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Riley RS, Ben-Ezra JM, Tidwell A, Romagnoli G. Reticulocyte analysis by flow cytometry and other techniques. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 2002;16:373-420, vii.  Back to cited text no. 1
Tanke HJ, Rothbarth PH, Vossen JM, Koper GJ, Ploem JS. Flow cytometry of reticulocytes applied to clinical hematology. Blood 1983;61:1091-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Peebles DA, Hochberg A, Clarke TD. Analysis of manual reticulocyte counting. Am J Clin Pathol 1981;76:713-7.  Back to cited text no. 3

Correspondence Address:
Amit Kumar Adhya
Department of Pathology, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPM.IJPM_196_17

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