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(ĭrĭth`rəsīt'): see bloodblood,
fluid pumped by the heart that circulates throughout the body via the arteries, veins, and capillaries (see circulatory system; heart). An adult male of average size normally has about 6 quarts (5.6 liters) of blood.
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a red blood corpuscle, or cell, in man, the vertebrates, and some invertebrates (echinoderms). Erythrocytes transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. They regulate the acid-base balance and maintain osmotic balance in the blood and tissues. In addition, amino acids and lipids are absorbed from the blood plasma, and transported to the tissues, by erythrocytes.

Mature mammalian and human erythrocytes lack the nucleus that is present in the early stages of their development—that is, in the erythroblasts. They have the shape of a biconcave disk. Erythrocytes consist mainly of the respiratory pigment hemoglobin, which is responsible for the red color of blood. The erythrocytes of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes are nucleated. The erythroblasts’ actively functioning nuclei gradually become inactive in the course of the erythrocytes’ development; they can, however, be reactivated. At the same time, ribosomes and other constituents that participate in protein synthesis disappear from the cytoplasm. The cell (or plasma) membrane plays an important role by permitting the passage of gases, ions, and water in the erythrocytes. On the surface of the lipoprotein membrane are specific glycoprotein antigens, or agglutinogens—the blood group factors responsible for the agglutination of erythrocytes.

The efficient functioning of hemoglobin depends on the erythrocytes’ area of surface contact with the environment. The smaller the erythrocytes, the greater their total surface area. The lower invertebrates have large erythrocytes (measuring, for example, 70 micrometers in diameter in the caudate amphibian Amphiuma), and the higher vertebrates have smaller ones (4 micrometers in diameter in goats). Human erythrocytes vary in diameter from 7.2 to 7.5 micrometers.

The number of erythrocytes in the blood normally remains constant, ranging from 4.5 to 5 million in 1 mm3 of human blood. The life-span of a human erythrocyte averages 125 days; approximately 2.5 million erythrocytes are formed and an equal number are destroyed every second. The total number decreases in anemia and increases in polycythemia. In the anemias, erythrocytes are found to change shape and size; they may be large (such as the megalocytes in Addison-Biermer anemia) or small, and they may, for example, be oval in shape (as in hemolytic anemia).



A type of blood cell that contains a nucleus in all vertebrates but humans and that has hemoglobin in the cytoplasm. Also known as red blood cell.


a blood cell of vertebrates that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide, combined with the red pigment haemoglobin, to and from the tissues
References in periodicals archive ?
Red cell salvage involves collection of blood intraoperatively and sometimes postoperatively.
The pathophysiology of pure red cell aplasia: implications for therapy.
*Proliferation in Reduction of Febrile, Non-Hemolytic Reactions Leads to Grow the Red Cell Filter Market.
Validation and potential mechanisms of red cell distribution width as a prognostic marker in heart failure.
The freshly collected blood in an EDTA bottle, was transferred into a small glass tube and centrifuged at a speed of 3000 rpm, for 15 minutes, to pack the red cells. The supernatant plasma was separated as much as possible, from the cells and replaced by sterile isotonic saline.
The net negative charge of glycophorins also plays a significant role in protecting RBCs from mechanical damage, caused by adhesion to nearby red cells or the endothelium, and microbial attack.
In this case, red cell membrane protein and spectrin analyses favoured the diagnosis of HE in association with transient infantile poikilocytosis.
In our study, the serum sodium levels were significantly lower in patients with IDA when compared to individuals without anemia, and also we found a significant positive correlation between serum sodium levels with all red cell indices except MCV and a statistically significant association between severity of anemia and hyponatremia which is in accordance with results of Shraf et al.
The YI takes into account both sensitivity and specificity and gives an appropriate measure of the validity of technique.22 In the present study, YI evaluated the discriminating function of the red cell indices and their derived formulae.
Globally, there is a need for an alternative red cell product.
Peripheral smear showed elliptocytes which were more than 50%, there was marked anisocytosis, poikilocytosis and red cell fragmentation (fig-1a).
Technically, anaemia defines a state in which an individual's haemoglobin concentration (red cell mass) falls two standard deviations below the reference intervals in a particular population (individuals of similar age, gender and geographical location) [3,4].