• Test Code - PL0890
  • Test Name - Reticulocyte Count
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Test Details & Preparation


  • Reticulocyte Count Test is done to help evaluate the bone marrow's ability to produce red blood cells (RBCs) to help distinguish between various causes of anaemia to help monitor bone marrow response and the return of normal marrow function following chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, or post-treatment follow-up for iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia, or renal failure.

  • Reticulocyte Count Test is performed when you have a low RBC count, haemoglobin, and hematocrit or symptoms of anaemia when your doctor wants to evaluate bone marrow function sometimes as part of a complete blood count (CBC).

  • A blood sample obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm or sometimes from a finger-stick or heel-stick (infant).

  • No preparation is needed for a Reticulocyte Count Test.

  • Results must be interpreted carefully and in conjunction with results of other tests, such as RBC count, haemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct) or full CBC. In general, the reticulocyte count (absolute number or percentage) is a reflection of recent bone marrow activity.

  • In a healthy person, the reticulocyte percentage is essentially stable and is normally within the range of 0.5 to 2%, or 30,000-130,000 per microliter.

  • When anaemia is present (i.e., low RBCs, low Hb, low Hct) and the bone marrow is responding appropriately to the demand for increased numbers of RBCs, then the bone marrow will produce more and allow for the early release of more immature RBCs, increasing the number of reticulocytes in the blood.

  • A high reticulocyte count with anaemia may indicate conditions such as bleeding, haemolytic anaemia, haemolytic disease of the newborn.

  • A low reticulocyte count with anaemia may be seen with iron deficiency anaemia, folic acid deficiency, aplastic anaemia, radiation therapy etc.


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