Polychromatophilia refers to how blood cells looks under a microscope when the cells are stained with special dyes. It means there is more staining with certain dyes than normal. The extra staining is due to too many immature red blood cells (RBCs) called reticulocytes. These cells have a blue colored center.
Too many reticulocytes is most often seen when the bone marrow needs to make more red blood cells because of a certain condition, such as hemolytic anemia.
This condition is also called polychromasia.
Bain BJ. The peripheral blood smear. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 160.
Review Date: 1/13/2013
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.