Elliptocytes, also known as ovalocytes, are abnormally shaped red blood cells that appear oval or elongated, from slightly egg-shaped to rod or pencil forms. They have normal central pallor with the hemoglobin appearing concentrated at the ends of the elongated cells when viewed through a light microscope. The ends of the cells are blunt and not sharp like sickle cells.[1]


Rare elliptocytes (less than 1%) on a peripheral blood smear are a normal finding.

These abnormal red blood cells are seen in higher numbers in the blood films of patients with blood disorders such as:[2]


  1. "Ovalocytes/Elliptocytes - LabCE.com, Laboratory Continuing Education". www.labce.com. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  2. Hirschmann, editors, Douglas C. Tkachuk, Jan V. (2007). Wintrobe's atlas of clinical hematology. Philadelphia, PA [etc.]: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 978-0781770231.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
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