RETIC or RETICULOCYTE COUNT

Mature Red Blood Cells live about 4 months.

Your bone marrow is constantly making new Red Blood Cells known as “Reticulocytes”.  After the Reticulocytes are newly created, and in the blood stream, in about two days they develop into mature Red Blood Cells.

Reticulocyte Count (Blood Test) measures the number of “new” Red Blood Cells in your body, compared to the amount of “mature” Red Blood Cells, as a percentage.  Also known as Reticulocyte Index or Retic Count.

This Retic test is often ordered by doctors when any type of Anemia is suspected.  A low Red Count (anemia) compared with a high or low  Retic Count, helps in categorizing the Anemia type.   This information is used with a variety of other test results to determine an accurate diagnosis and a proper treatment plan.

The Retic test is a simple blood draw type test. Then sent to a lab.  Results are given as a percentage.  A normal healthy adult ranges anywhere between 0.5% and 2.5%.  Women and Children are normally higher than men. (NOTE: These “Normal” result parameter numbers vary slightly depending on the source of information, and perhaps the lab in which your results are produced).

The above is for an Adult, whereas a newborn will have a normal range from 3.0% to 6.0%.

Of interesting note to CADs.  Numerous CADs have given us feedback that they experience body aches that some describe as bone pain.  A constant nagging pain all over that doesn’t seems get relief from changing positions, etc.  Many discussions indicate this may occur during periods of hemolysis or bouts with anemia when the body’s bone marrow is attempting to produce excessive amounts of new Red Blood Cells to compensate.

This would make sense since this Retic function is performed in the bone marrow.  We would like more confirmation from CADs that have Retic Rate blood tests run, during these periods of unexplained body aches.

There are four major Categories of Anemia.  Then there are numerous other sub-categories that fall under the four.

Hemolytic Anemia typically has an above normal Retic Rate.

Aplastic Anemia, Iron Deficiency Anemia, and Pernicious Anemia are associated with a lower than normal Retic Rate.

Some Anemic conditions are transient in nature.  But they can also be chronic.

If Retic is completely shut down.   There are several suspects that may need to be eliminated as a possibility, or treated if identified and treatable.
Parvo B19 Virus
Mono
Epstein-Barr (Mono-Mononucleosis-Herpesvirus 4)
Hepatitis
HIV
Certain Medications
Toxic Chemicals
Chemo/Radiation Cancer Treatments

 

 

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