A reticulocyte count is a blood test that measures the number of immature red blood cells, called reticulocytes, in your blood. Here are some reasons why you may need to have your reticulocyte count tested:
To evaluate anemia: Reticulocyte count can help evaluate different types of anemia, which is a condition where there are fewer red blood cells than normal or the red blood cells are not functioning properly. Depending on the type of anemia, the reticulocyte count may be elevated or decreased.
To monitor bone marrow function: Reticulocyte count can also help monitor bone marrow function, which is the site where red blood cells are produced. If the bone marrow is not functioning properly, the reticulocyte count may be low.
To monitor response to treatment: Reticulocyte count can be used to monitor the response to treatment for certain types of anemia, such as iron-deficiency anemia or hemolytic anemia. If the treatment is effective, the reticulocyte count should increase.
To diagnose certain conditions: Reticulocyte count can be used to help diagnose certain conditions, such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia.
It’s important to discuss the results of your reticulocyte count with your healthcare provider to determine if any additional testing or treatment is needed.