Polychromatophilia (also called polychromasia) is an excessive number of abnormal red blood cells (RBCs) in the bloodstream. These RBCs are called polychromatophil cells.
In lab tests, these RBCs stain with different types of dyes, and look different than normal red cells. (The term "polychromatophilia" means an attraction to multiple colors.)
Newland JR. The peripheral blood smear. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2007:chap 161.
Review Date: 2/19/2009
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 David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.