26 February 2018 (Monday) - Cabot Ring


Look what I saw down the microscope today. Cabot rings are thin, red-violet staining, threadlike strands in the shape of a loop or figure of eight that are found on rare occasions in red blood cells  They are thought to be the microtubules which are all that remains of mitotic spindles. Their presence indicates an abnormality in erythropoiesis. There’s an entry on the things in Wikipedia (so it must be true!)

They are incredibly rare; for all that I’ve seen them in text books, I can’t remember seeing any in real life before.

The patient presenting this had a congenital dyserthyopoetic anaemia. There’s a more scholarly article on the things here.

But look at the case in which this ring presented (It’s not really him from Star Trek!)


KIRK Admiral James T   22-3-2233 
R,18.0023742.K       R 26.02.18  Clinical details CDA      

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            HBM   WBCM    PLT    HCT   RBCM   MCVM   MCHM  MCHCM    RDW      N
211216      105   4.55    281  0.319   3.23   98.8   32.5    329   32.0   2.47
270317 F    105   5.50    217  0.307   3.17   96.8   33.1    342   31.3   3.22
070917 F    101   4.60    230  0.309   3.06  101.0   33.0    327   34.4   2.50
260218 F    108   5.71    328  0.323   3.31   97.6   32.6    334   31.7   2.95

              L      M      E      B    NUC   NUCA    ESR     GF
211216     1.38   0.42   0.10   0.18                            
270317 F   1.49   0.44   0.15   0.20                            
070917 F   1.50   0.40   0.10   0.20                            
260218 F   1.83   0.53   0.16   0.24 



It struck me as rather interesting that such an unusual morphological finding would occur in such a mundane blood count; other than a mild anaemia there is not a lot wrong with the blood count. I can only assume that a CDA on presentation would have something in the blood count prompting preparation of a blood film…

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