What are Smudge Cells? Do they indicate CLL?

Posted by reneebarber77 @reneebarber77, Aug 12 9:08am

If I have smudge cells in my blood and do not have high white cells could that be a consideration for CLL?

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Smudge cells are exactly that—cells that were destroyed during the collection or preparing of the blood smear, creating a smudge look on the glass slide. They’re remnants of cells that lack any identifiable cytoplasmic membrane or nuclear structure. They are indicative of weakened cells as normal cells have stronger, defined membranes.
Smudge cells, also called basket cells, are most often associated with abnormally fragile lymphocytes in disorders such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, they can also be seen in viral infections as documented here in an article from pubmed.gov https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33598404/

I also found this site from epainassist.com that gives a good, less technical explanation about Smudge cells https://www.epainassist.com/blood-diseases/smudge-cells

Smudge cells aren’t unique to CLL, though they are seen more commonly and in higher numbers in CLL.

Is this a recent discovery for you? Have you discussed this finding with a hematolgist?

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@loribmt

Smudge cells are exactly that—cells that were destroyed during the collection or preparing of the blood smear, creating a smudge look on the glass slide. They’re remnants of cells that lack any identifiable cytoplasmic membrane or nuclear structure. They are indicative of weakened cells as normal cells have stronger, defined membranes.
Smudge cells, also called basket cells, are most often associated with abnormally fragile lymphocytes in disorders such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, they can also be seen in viral infections as documented here in an article from pubmed.gov https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33598404/

I also found this site from epainassist.com that gives a good, less technical explanation about Smudge cells https://www.epainassist.com/blood-diseases/smudge-cells

Smudge cells aren’t unique to CLL, though they are seen more commonly and in higher numbers in CLL.

Is this a recent discovery for you? Have you discussed this finding with a hematolgist?

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This is new to me, I have to go for another blood test in one week. If they still exist, then I will be referred to the oncologist

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@reneebarber77

This is new to me, I have to go for another blood test in one week. If they still exist, then I will be referred to the oncologist

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This will feel like a long week for you with the anxiety of waiting for the results of this second blood test. I can empathize with that feeling!
If it does reveal continued defective cells with the potential for Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia, the most common form of that blood cancer can be very slow to progress. Often patients can go years without any changes or treatment. A hematologist/oncologist will be able to evaluate your blood results and guide your from there. However, this next blood test may show everything returned to normal and all the concern was for nothing.

Is this something that was discovered in a routine physical or are you having symptoms?

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This is a routine exam, having headaches but have some other symptoms.

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@reneebarber77

This is a routine exam, having headaches but have some other symptoms.

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I’d really like to follow along on your discovery. Will you keep me posted along the way?

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@reneebarber77

This is new to me, I have to go for another blood test in one week. If they still exist, then I will be referred to the oncologist

Jump to this post

Hi Renee, just following up. Did you have another blood test? Any updates?

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