Examination of blood smears

CASE STUDY 1 Examination of blood smears is a valuable diagnostic tool. Imagine that you are a medical lab tech. working in a hematology lab. In front of you are four blood smears from four different patients. You notice certain abnormalities in each blood smear (indicated by the arrow) or an increase in a type of blood cell.


Below are relevant medical histories of the patients:

Patient 1: Clinical manifestations: shaking chills with profuse sweating, high fever, muscle fatigue. The patient has recently visited sub-Saharan Africa.


Patient 2: Clinical manifestations: chronically elevated blood pressure, erythromelalgia (red and swollen limbs), enlarged spleen. The patient has recently suffered from several strokes.


Patient 3: Clinical manifestations: frequent painful episodes involving joints, dark urinemuscle fatigue. The patient is African-American.


Patient 4: Clinical manifestations: frequent infections, subdermal bleeding (bruising of skin), muscle fatigue. The patient is scheduled for a bone marrow transplant.



1. Match each blood smear to a specific patient.

2. Which disease is each patient suffering from?

3. For Patients 1 and 3 what is the cause of disease? For Patients 2 and 4 what is the treatment?

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