The bone marrow produces red blood cells into the bloodstream. Reticulocytes (reticulum (Latin) “reticle”, kytos (Greek) cell) are immature forms of red blood cells. The reticulocyte phase of red blood cells lasts for approximately 2–3 days, after which they become mature red blood cells. Because red blood cells live for approximately 120 days, the bone marrow continuously produces reticulocytes as old red blood cells are destroyed.
When should reticulocytes be measured?
A reticulocyte test is a good idea in connection with low haemoglobin levels or if the number of red blood cells is found to be low. The test is also done in connection with diseases of the liver or kidneys. Reticulocytes can also be tested in connection with the following symptoms:
- Bruises or bleeding
- Stomach pain
What does a reticulocyte test measure?
The test aims to investigate the ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, and it is of assistance in distinguishing the cause of anaemia.
How is the reticulocyte test result interpreted?
- E-Retik: 0.2–2.0%
Please contact your physician or other healthcare professional if you suspect an illness or need help interpreting the results.
Read more about defining reference values.
What can cause elevated reticulocyte values?
An increased level of reticulocytes in the bloodstream indicates increased formation of red blood cells. This condition is known as reticulocytosis. Elevated levels can occur in connection with anaemia and haemorrhage. Reticulocytosis also occurs when treating anaemia with iron medication.
What can cause decreased reticulocyte values?
Sometimes, the level of reticulocytes in the blood is too low. This can be caused by a disorder in bone marrow function, such as bone marrow loss. Low reticulocyte values are also see in connection with viral infections, liver cirrhosis, or diseases of the kidneys.
SYNLAB test list: Reticulocytes (2581 B-Retik, 2582 E-Retik) https://www2.synlab.fi/laboratoriokasikirja/tutkimuskuvaukset/retikulosyytit/
Lab Tests Online: Reticulocytes https://labtestsonline.org/tests/reticulocytes
Fasting is not required
This examination does not require fasting