I had a peripheral blood smear (manual differential) done as part of a routine annual oncology follow-up, and noted in the report were schistocytes, ovalocytes, and anisocytosis (all 1+) and occasional polychromasia. Last year's test also showed anisocytosis 1+ and occasional schistocytes.
I'm curious: what does the 1+ mean? Is it that a certain percentage of the red blood cells have that property?
Also, I don't have a spleen (it was removed when I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the 1980's) so what could cause the red blood cell fragments? Is it normal for those to show up in a healthy individual, or were they damaged during the blood draw and slide prep? My doctor does not seem concerned and brushed off my questions with an "It's all ok", and I'm not worried, but the biology nerd in me is curious.
One other question: the red cell distribution width is right in the middle of normal; how can that result coexisist with anisocytosis?
Thanks in advance for helping understand what this means. The rest of my blood test results were ok (Phospherus serum and LDH a bit high but normal when retested, and no anemia, in fact HGB a bit on the high side).