Ring sideroblasts

October 28, 2023

Ring sideroblasts are immature red blood cells (RBCs) that have extra iron inside the body of the cell. This extra iron creates a tight ring around the nucleus of the cell. These cells can be seen in a variety of medical conditions including copper deficiency, myelodysplastic syndromes, and inherited diseases associated with ring sideroblasts. Some medications and toxins can also cause these cells to develop.

Where is iron normally stored in the body?

The body uses iron to make normal, healthy red blood cells. When it is not being used, iron is stored in the bone marrow inside specialized cells called macrophages. A small amount of this iron is also held inside immature red blood cells. The iron inside these cells can be seen under the microscope as small dots within the body of the cell. Pathologists call these dots granules and only a couple of dots are normally seen in healthy cells.

About this article

This article was written by doctors to help you read and understand your pathology report. Contact us if you have questions about this article or your pathology report. For a complete introduction to your pathology report, read this article.

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