Blood Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

smudge cells??

Are there any other reasons for these findings in blood work, other than leukemia? Are these results prone to lab mistakes? My son had some bloodwork done, and in the comment section it states he has 20% smudge cells present. I googled it, and didn't like what I found. I can't find any information on other causes but leukemia, and lymphoproliferative disorders. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!!!!!!
6 Responses
Avatar universal

I really think you need to speak to your sons Dr ASAP as I just found what you did and until you are told directly you are going to let the fear and the little bit of knowledge you have turn into the biggest monster going when in fact it might be totally unfounded

Look up cll on the mayo clinic website, it may put your mind at rest just a little.

I sincerely hope its a lab error but I think not knowing is harder than the truth may be.

Avatar universal
Hi there.  Smudge cells are cells that are mostly damaged during the CBC process. The cell walls rupture and when seen under the microscope they look like a smudge so referred to as smudge cells. Smudge cells are not unique to CLL.  They are seen much commonly and in much higher numbers in CLL.  The count in normal specimens may be 0.01 percent, severe infections or burns it may be 0.1 to 0.3 percent. In patients with acute leukemias it may be 1 to 3 percent but in CLL patients it may be up to 20 percent of all cells or higher.
Go back to your child’s physician and the hematologist for a detailed evaluation of your child in time.
Take care and wish you all the best.
Avatar universal
I was just told the same thing today about my 1yr old son. I am so scared but don't know how to get any answers until late next week. Did you ever find out any more information?
Avatar universal
Last month I went to my doctor and told him of my symptoms of cold sweats, fevers, body aches that were horrible and being very tired all the time. He ran a cbc and my wbc were high my rbc were low and I showed smudge cells in my blood work.  He ran the test again and said that I would need to see an oncologist, Ive seen her and before seeing her there were three more cbcs done were I had smudge cells and the last one I didnt have any...but my white blood count hit 23,500 I really wish I knew what was wrong they have tested me for lyme disease mono or kissing disease is what ive heard it called and now Im stuck with symptoms and no answers wish I knew what to do and who to talk too...Im really scared something is going on and I wont find out until it's too last wish someone could help me out with understanding why I would have smudge cells in 5 test and than no show any smudge cells in the last cbc I had but still high white blood count and low red blood count.
Avatar universal
Leukocytosis is a reason for high percentage of smudged white blood cells. If the percentage varies from one blood test to another, especially when high one time and low or near zero another, it is most likely due to the way the lab handled the sample and the slides. Leukocytosis can have varying causes. I'm still learning about it. I was referred to a hematologist, not an oncologist, because they deal with all known blood conditions including leukemia. My white blood cell count was high, but has been steadily dropping while I've been receiving dental and medical treatment previously unavailable to me. This is thanks to the ACA, otherwise known as Obama Care.
Avatar universal
I would take the information to your doctor and maybe ask to be referred to a hematologist.
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