4-11. VARIATIONS OF LEUKOCYTES
Variations of leukocytes occur as a result of abnormal maturation of the nucleus
and/or cytoplasm. These variations are induced by leukemic states, infectious
diseases, and toxicity. Described below are the most frequently occurring variations.
a. Dohle Bodies. Dohle bodies are light blue or blue-gray, small, round
inclusions found in the cytoplasm of neutrophilic leukocytes. The variation may occur in
toxic conditions such as severe infections, burns, poisoning, and following
b. Auer Rods. Auer rods are rods or spindle-shaped, cytoplasmic inclusions.
They stain red-purple and are 1 to 6 microns long and less than 1.5 microns thick. They
are frequently found in leukemias.
c. Toxic Granullation. Toxic granulation occurs in the neutrophilic
metamyelocyte, band, and segmented cells. These granules are distinguished from the
normal granulation because they are coarser and stain a dark purple. The variations
occur in toxic states, severe infections, and burns.
Figure 4-7a. Variations in leukocytes:
Band Neutrophil: Toxic Granulation.
d. Basket Cell. A basket cell is a ruptured leukocyte that has a network
appearance. These cells result from a partial breakdown of the immature and fragile
leukocytes. Basket cells are found predominantly in diseases with an acute shift toward
immature forms, for example, leukemias.
e. Vacuolated Cell. A vacuolated cell is a degenerated cell with holes or
vacuoles in the cytoplasm. Vacuolated cells can be seen in severe infections,
poisoning, and leukemias, and in cells that have been in Heller & Paul oxalate too long.