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Polychromatophilia (also called polychromasia) is an excessive number of abnormal red blood cells (RBCs) in the bloodstream. These abnormal RBCs have a blue-colored center.

These abnormal RBCs are most often seen when the bone marrow needs to make more because of a certain medical condition, such as hemolytic anemia.

Alternative Names



Newland JR. The peripheral blood smear. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2007:chap 161.

Marks PW, Glader B. Approach to anemia in the adult and child. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Shattil SJ, et al, eds. Hoffman Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008:chap 34.

Review Date: 2/13/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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