Basophilic stippling (also known as punctate basophilia)

Basophilic stippling

The fine dots represent RNA and can be seen in loads of conditions, below are a few:

  • Lead poisoning
  • Thalassaemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Congenital dyseryhtropoeitic anaemia
  • Sideroblastic anaemia

Remember to

Put the puzzle together when looking at a blood film – if suspecting MDS, look out for dysplastic granulocytes and blasts, if lead poisoning – clinical history (confusion) and microcytosis (not macro!)

Also, they are not seen on Perl’s stain, so don’t confuse them with Pappenheimer bodies


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