Heinz body

Specimen:

5 mL blood in EDTA.

Method:

Fresh blood incubated with supravital stain and examined by microscopy for presence of stained inclusions close to the red cell membrane (Heinz bodies).

Reference Interval:

Not detected.

Application:

Investigation of haemolysis (when oxidative changes seen on blood film) or with history of exposure to oxidant chemical or drug.

Interpretation:

Heinz bodies are denatured globin, and represent the end-product of oxidative degradation of haemoglobin.

Heinz bodies may be detected post-splenectomy, with oxidative haemolysis (in normals, but particularly in patients with G-6-PD deficiency) and in patients with unstable haemoglobinopathies.

Reference:

Bain et al. Dacie and Lewis Practical Haematology. 11th Ed. 2012.