Howell–Jolly body

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A Howell–Jolly body (marked by arrow) within an erythrocyte

Howell–Jolly bodies are histopathological findings of basophilic nuclear remnants (clusters of DNA) in circulating erythrocytes. During maturation in the bone marrow late erythroblasts normally expel their nuclei, but in some cases a small portion of DNA remains. Its presence usually signifies a damaged spleen.

It is named after William Henry Howell[1] and Justin Marie Jolly.[2][3]

Appearance[edit]

Howell–Jolly bodies: small, round inclusions seen in erythrocytes (peripheral blood – MGG stain)

This DNA appears as a basophilic (purple) spot on the otherwise eosinophilic (pink) erythrocyte on a standard H&E stained blood smear. These inclusions are normally removed by the spleen during erythrocyte circulation, but will persist in individuals with functional hyposplenia or asplenia.

Causes[edit]

Howell-Jolly bodies are seen with markedly decreased splenic function. Common causes include asplenia (post-splenectomy), trauma to the spleen, and autosplenectomy caused by sickle cell anemia. Other causes are radiation therapy involving the spleen, such as that used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. Howell–Jolly bodies are also seen in: severe hemolytic anemia, megaloblastic anemia, hereditary spherocytosis, and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howell, W. H. "The life-history of the formed elements of the blood, especially the red blood corpuscles". Journal of Morphology (New York) 4 (1): 57–116. doi:10.1002/jmor.1050040105. 
  2. ^ synd/1596 at Who Named It?
  3. ^ Jolly, J (1908). Recherches sur la formation des globules rouges des mammifères (in French) 58. Paris: Comptes rendus de la Société de Biologie. pp. 528–531. 

External links[edit]