PURPOSE: to evaluate the significance of schizocytes presence in peripheral blood smear of pregnant women with pre-eclampsia, identifying and correlating them with other markers of hemolysis and of the disease severity. METHODS: Seventh six glass slides of peripheral blood smear of pregnant women with pre-eclampsia have been evaluated. After the smear, the slides have been stained with Leishman's dye and stored till they were examined with a Leica, model DLMB microscope, provided with the Qwin Lite 2.5 software that made it possible to record the images of selected fields in CD-ROM. Ten fields with approximately 100 erythrocytes were counted in each glass slide. Schizocytes (irregular fragment or helmet-shaped, bite-shaped or triangular) were considered as present, when their percentage was equal or higher than 0.2%, their presence being correlated with other hemolysis markers (hemoglobin, total bilirubin, lactic desidrogenasis and reticulocytes), pre-eclampsia markers (proteinuria and platelet number). The Statistical Package in Social Science for Windows (SPSS), 10.0 version has been used for statistical analysis, at p<0.05. RESULTS: schizocytes have been present in 31.6% of the pregnant women with pre-eclampsia. In most (75%) of the blood smears there have been three or four schizocytes. There has been no correlation between schizocyte presence and any other hemolysis marker, any pre-eclampsia marker or disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: schizocytes have been identified in a small number and in less than a third of the pregnant women with pre-eclampsia. There has been no correlation with other hemolysis marker parameters or with the disease severity. This way, the presence of schizocytes is not a marker of the clinical evolution of pre-eclampsia.
Pre-eclampsia; HELLP syndrome; Hemolysis; Erythrocytes count; Erythrocytes