Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.

Different types of anemia include:

Red blood cells, elliptocytosis

Elliptocytosis is a hereditary disorder of the red blood cells (RBCs). In this condition, the RBCs assume an elliptical shape, rather than the typical round shape.

Red blood cells, spherocytosis

Spherocytosis is a hereditary disorder of the red blood cells (RBCs), which may be associated with a mild anemia. Typically, the affected RBCs are small, spherically shaped, and lack the light centers seen in normal, round RBCs.

Red blood cells, multiple sickle cells

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disorder in which abnormal hemoglobin (the red pigment inside red blood cells) is produced. The abnormal hemoglobin causes red blood cells to assume a sickle shape, like the ones seen in this photomicrograph.


Red blood cells (RBCs) are normally round. In ovalocytosis, the cells are oval. Other conditions that produce abnormally shaped RBCs include spherocytosis and eliptocytosis.

Red blood cells, sickle and pappenheimer

This photomicrograph of red blood cells (RBCs) shows both sickle-shaped and pappenheimer bodies.

Red blood cells, target cells

These abnormal red blood cells (RBCs) resemble targets. These cells are seen in association with some forms of anemia, and following the removal of the spleen (splenectomy).


Hemoglobin is the most important component of red blood cells. It is composed of a protein called heme, which binds oxygen. In the lungs, oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide.Abnormalities of an individual's hemoglobin value can indicate defects in the normal balance between red blood cell production and destruction. Both low and high values can indicate disease states.



Exams and Tests


Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional