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Heinz' bodies

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Small irregular, deep purple granules in red blood cells due to damage of the haemoglobin molecules. Seen in premature infants, in certain forms of drug sensitivity, characteristically in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency following administration of oxidant drugs, e.g. primaquin. Also in certain type of hereditary haemolytic anaemia, especially in patients with thalassaemia. The bodies are best seen when the blood is stained with crystal violet.

Heinz reported these bodies in the blood of guinea pigs treated with acetylphenylhydrazine.


  • R. Heinz:
    Morphologische Veränderungen des roten Blutkörperchens durch Gifte.
    [Virchows] Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medizin, Berlin, 1890, 122: 112-116. Über Blutdegenerationen und Regenerationen.
    Beiträge zur pathologischen Anatomie und zur allgemeinen Pathologie, Stuttgart, 1901: 299-404.
  • P. Ehrlich:
    Farbenanalytische Untersuchungen zur Histologie und Klinik des Blutes.
    Berlin, 1891. Über schwere anämische Zustände.
    Verhandlungen des Congresses für Innere Medizin, 1892: 33-52.

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