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SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

1. Which one of the following parameters of the complete blood count does not provide a measurement of red blood cell quantity?

A. Hemoglobin

B. Red blood cell count

C. Mean corpuscular volume (MCV)

D. Hematocrit

The correct answer is C. The MCV is a measure of red blood cell size. All of the others are measures of red blood cell quantity.

2. All but one of the following is an anemia associated with a defect in the maturation of the red blood cell. Which of the following is not associated with a maturation defect?

A. Folate deficiency

B. Iron deficiency

C. Lead poisoning

D. Immune hemolytic anemia

The correct answer is D. Immune hemolytic anemia does not involve reduced proliferation of red blood cells. Immune hemolytic anemia is produced by antibody-mediated red blood cell destruction.

3. Which of the following causes of anemia is not associated with a high value for MCV?

A. Vitamin B12 deficiency

B. Iron deficiency anemia

C. Folate deficiency

D. Alcohol abuse

The correct answer is B. Iron-deficiency anemia is a very common cause for small red blood cells with a low MCV value. All of the other choices are associated with the presence of a larger than normal red blood cells.

4. Which one of the four choices below corresponds to the description of the following inclusion in red blood cells?

In a Wright stain peripheral blood smear, the inclusions are blue dots within red cells that are larger than basophilic stippling and represent iron-containing mitochondria; they are commonly found in patients who are asplenic.

A. Heinz bodies

B. Pappenheimer bodies

C. Howell–Jolly bodies

D. Cabot rings

The correct answer is B. Heinz bodies are gray-black round inclusions, seen only with supravital stains such as crystal violet. They are found in patients with certain unstable hemoglobins. Howell–Jolly bodies are dot-like, dark purple inclusions, unlike Pappenheimer bodies that are more irregular and more gray. Cabot rings are ring-shaped dark purple inclusions. Like Howell–Jolly bodies, they represent residual nuclear fragments.

5. Which one of the four choices below corresponds to the description of ...

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