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This chapter should help the student to:

  • List the name, structure, and function of each formed element in blood.

  • List the percentage contributed by each cell type to peripheral blood cell numbers (as determined by a differential cell count) and to blood volume (as determined by hematocrit).

  • Give the percentage of normal blood volume contributed by plasma.

  • Describe the composition of plasma and distinguish between plasma and serum.

  • Describe the sequence of events of clot formation, including the roles of the platelets and various plasma proteins.

  • Identify the formed elements in a micrograph of a blood smear.


  1. What is the approximate total blood volume of adult humans (I.A1)?

  2. Name the two major components of blood (I.A).

  3. Name the three classes of formed elements in blood (III.A–C).

  4. Compare serum and plasma in terms of the procedures for isolating them from whole blood (I.A and D; IV.A) and their fibrinogen and serotonin content (IV.A).

  5. Define “hematocrit” and give the normal range of values for adult humans (I.D).

  6. List several types of plasma proteins (II.B.1; IV.B).

  7. To which class of plasma proteins do the circulating antibodies (immunoglobulins) secreted by plasma cells belong (II.B.1)?

  8. What is the normal diameter of a human erythrocyte (III.A.1)?

  9. What is the functional significance of the biconcave shape of normal erythrocytes (III.A.1)?

  10. Compare erythrocytes of sickle cell anemia with normal erythrocytes (III.A.3) in terms of:

    1. Hemoglobin (Hb) type (including amino acid composition)

    2. Effect of low oxygen tension on hemoglobin solubility

    3. Effect of low oxygen tension on cell shape and flexibility

  11. What components of erythrocyte plasma membranes determine blood group (e.g., MN, ABO) (III.A.4)?

  12. Describe hemoglobin (III.A.3) in terms of:

    1. Primary function

    2. Number of subunits per molecule

    3. Number of hemes per molecule

    4. Metal ion of the heme

    5. Types present after birth

    6. Predominant type in adults

    7. Predominant type in the fetus

  13. Describe mature erythrocytes (III.A.1 and 2) in terms of:

    1. Organelles present

    2. Capacity for protein synthesis

    3. Energy metabolism

    4. Site of production

    5. Duration in circulation

    6. Site(s) of removal from circulation

  14. List the five types of leukocytes in peripheral blood (III.B.1.a, b and 2.a–c). Indicate which are agranulocytes and granulocytes (III.B.1 and 2).

  15. Compare granulocytes and agranulocytes (III.B.1 and 2) in terms of the presence and relative amount of specific and azurophilic granules and the shape of their nuclei.

  16. In addition to blood, leukocytes are normal components of what other tissue type (III.B, B, 1 and 2.a–c)? How do leukocytes in this other tissue differ from those in the blood?

  17. What is the normal number of leukocytes per microliter of blood (provide a range) and the predominant leukocyte type in the peripheral blood of adult humans (III.B, B, 1 and 2.a–c)?

  18. What percentage of the leukocytes in normal adult blood are neutrophils (III.B.2.a), lymphocytes (III.B.1.a), monocytes (III.B.1.b), eosinophils (III.B.2.b), and basophils (III.B.2.c)?

  19. Compare the three mature granulocyte types in terms of staining properties, specific granule size and contents, average number of nuclear lobes, diameter, ...

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