Key Difference – Anisocytosis vs Poikilocytosis
Anisocytosis and Poikilocytosis refer to abnormalities in Red Blood cells. The key difference between Anisocytosis and poikilocytosis is that the Anisocytosis refers to the condition in which red blood cells are unequal in size while Poikilocytosis refers to a condition in which red blood cells are abnormally shaped.
In Anisocytosis, the red blood cells are of unequal cell size. They appear to be either smaller or larger than the standard size. In Poikilocytosis, the red blood cells show abnormal cell shape. They do not have the standard biconvex shape.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Anisocytosis
3. What is Poikilocytosis
4. Similarities Between Anisocytosis and Poikilocytosis
5. Side by Side Comparison – Anisocytosis vs Poikilocytosis in Tabular Form
What is Anisocytosis?
Anisocytosis is a disease condition in which the red blood cells attain an abnormal difference in their cell sizes. The red blood cells appear to be of unequal cell size. The red blood cells typically have a disk diameter of approximately 6.2–8.2 µm. The RBC cell size is either bigger or smaller than these parameters when an individual is said to have Anisocytosis.
The main cause of Anisocytosis is anemia. There are different types of anemia that cause Anisocytosis. They include Iron deficiency anemia, Sickle cell anemia, Megaloblastic anemia, Pernicious anemia, and Thalassemia.
The diagnosis of Anisocytosis simply involves a microscopic analysis of the blood smear obtained from the respective individual. During the microscopic observations, Red blood cells appear to be either larger than normal (macrocytosis), smaller than normal (microcytosis), or both (some larger and some smaller than normal). Other symptoms are; weakness, fatigue, pale skin and shortness of breath, etc.
What is Poikilocytosis?
Poikilocytosis is observed when the red blood cells attain differently varied shaped resulting in abnormal shaped red blood cells. These different abnormal shapes include sickle shape, burr shape, tear-drop shape and elliptical shape. These red blood cells are more flattened and may contain pointed projections on the cell surface, thus altering the normal shape of the cell.
In addition to anemia, Poikilocytosis is also caused by liver diseases, inherited blood cell disorders and alcoholism. Poikilocytosis is diagnosed via microscopic observations of the red blood cells. If the abnormal shapes are identified, they are further directed for the treatment. Poikilocytosis can also be due to the deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid that are essential for red blood cells.
There are different types of Poikilocytosis based on the shape of the red blood cell; Spherocytes, Stromatocytes – elliptical or slit-like, Condocytes – specialized cells, Leptocytes, Sickle cell, etc.
What are the Similarities Between Anisocytosis and Poikilocytosis?
- Both Anisocytosis and Poikilocytosis are related to the abnormalities of red blood cells.
- Both can be caused by different types of anemia.
- Both are mainly diagnosed by microscopic observations.
What is the Difference Between Anisocytosis and Poikilocytosis?
Anisocytosis vs Poikilocytosis
|In Anisocytosis, the red blood cells are of unequal cell size, and they appear to be either smaller or larger than the standard size.||In Poikilocytosis, the red blood cells are of abnormal cell shape. They do not have the standard shape.|
|The size of the red blood cell is monitored in anisocytosis.||The shape of the red blood cell is monitored in poikilocytosis.|
|Anisocytosis types are Anisocytosis with microcytosis and Anisocytosis with macrocytosis||Poikilocytosis types are Spherocytes, Stromatocytes, Condocytes, Leptocytes, Sickle cell, etc.|
Summary – Anisocytosis vs Poikilocytosis
Both Anisocytosis and Poikilocytosis are abnormalities in red blood cells that result from anemic conditions. During Anisocytosis, the red blood cells have an unequal size whereas, in Poikilocytosis, the red blood cells have abnormal shapes. The diagnosis takes place mainly via microscopy. The treatment mainly involves nutrition supplementation of vitamin B12 and folic acid. This is the difference between Anisocytosis and Poikilocytosis.
1.“Poikilocytosis: Symptoms, Treatment, Outlook, and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media. Available here
2.“Anisocytosis: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.” Healthline, Healthline Media. Available here