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Cabot rings

From www.haematologyetc.co.uk

Described by: Richard Cabot (American physician in 1903)


Appearance

They are rarely seen; however when present their appearance is of violet coloured thin strands, that form single or double loops. Most often they are seen in polychromatic red cells.




Image: Cabot ring in 'figure of 8' appearance, within a pale (polychromatic) red cell


Significance

They reflect stressed or disordered haematopoiesis


Pitfalls

Occasionally water entering during slide-fixation can cause a ring-like appearance affecting multiple cells, this will generally affect large numbers of cells.


Causes


OCCUR IN STATES OF STRESSED HAEMATOPOIESIS, examples below
Megaloblastic anaemias
Myelodysplasia and myelofibrosis
Drug effects.


Pathobiology

These are residual microtubular structures that are believed to represent the remains of the mitotic spindle formed during cell division.