Target Cells

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Target cells (codocytes) have a centrally located disk of hemoglobin surrounded by an area of pallor with an outer rim of hemoglobin adjacent to the cell membrane giving the cell the appearance of a target. Target cells have an excess of cell membrane relative to cell volume. Clinical Significance : Macrocytic target cells can be seen in liver disease, and microcytic target cells may be seen in thalassemia. Target cells may also be seen in hemoglobin C and E disease and following splenectomy; they can also occur as an artifact of slide preparation, though artefactual target cells are generally irregularly distributed on the slide.