Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Blood: erythrocyte count (RBC)

Synonym(s): RBC

Contributor(s): Kathleen P Freeman, Frank Taylor

Overview

  • Red blood cell count is a measure of the number of circulating red cells.
  • Measured in (RBC) numbers x 10*12/l or 10e9/ul.
  • Normally evaluated using automated cell counters.
  • Variation between different breeds and types (also variation within types).
  • Spleen normally retains 30% of RBC in a resting horse but these can be quickly released on exercise or excitement (including blood sampling!).
  • Number of circulating red cells very labile.

Sampling

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Tests

Methodologies

  • Normally automatic cell counters used. Manual counting method using hemoccytmeter can be used if automated equipment is not available.

Availability

  • Widely available at commercial laboratories.
  • In-hospital testing.

Validity

Specificity

Technique (intrinsic) limitations

  • Significant differences between ages (foal vs adult), breeds and types.
  • Variation follows a normal distribution curve.
  • Some normal individuals will have apparently abnormal results (and vice versa).
  • Always interpret results in the light of clinical exmination.

Result Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Barrelet A (2004)Laboratory tests in equine practice Part 2: Haematological analyses. UK Vet9(8), 13-23.

Other sources of information

  • Morris D D (1998)diseases of the hemolymphatic System.In Equine Internal MedicineS M Reed and W M Bayly (eds). W B Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 558-601.

Organisation(s)

  • Veterinary commercial laboratories, State diagnostic laboratories or Veterinary College laboratories.


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