RTIC - Clinical: Reticulocytes, Blood

Test Catalog

Test Name

Test ID: RTIC    
Reticulocytes, Blood

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Assessing erythropoietic bone marrow activity in anemia and other hematologic conditions

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Reticulocytes are immature erythrocytes (RBC) that have been released into the peripheral blood from the bone marrow after extrusion of their nucleus. The reticulocyte contains residual polyribosomes used in the formation of hemoglobin in the developing erythrocyte.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

% Reticulocytes: 0.77-2.36%

Absolute reticulocytes: 38.1-112.6 x 10(9)/L

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

The reticulocyte count is a measure of the number of RBCs delivered by the bone marrow. It is elevated with active erythropoiesis such as regeneration, and is decreased in hypoplastic or deficiency conditions such as vitamin B12 deficiency.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Reticulocyte counts must be carefully correlated with other clinical and laboratory findings.


Clotted specimens yield unreliable results and are unacceptable for analysis.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Clinical Hematology: Principles, procedures, correlations. Second edition. Edited by CA Lotspeich-Steininger, EA Stiene-Martin, JA Koepke. Philadelphia, Lippincott-Raven, 1998, pp 114-117