Heinz Bodies


Other Known AliasesHeinz-Ehrlich Bodies, Ehrlich Inner Body

DefinitionDeep purple small irregular bodies in red cells stained with crystal violet which represents denatured hemoglobin due to oxidative damage.

Image result for heinz bodies

Clinical SignificanceSeen in conditions in with high oxidative stress such as:

  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • Alpha thalassemia
  • NADPH deficiency
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Asplenia

History – Given to Dr. Robert Heinz (1865-1924), who was a German physician and pharmacologist who first reported these findings 1890 in the blood of guinea pigs that had treated with acetylphenylhydrazine.  Dr. Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915), was a German bacteriologist and immunologist, is also credited with this, but did not publish it formally (as best I can tell)


  1. Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA.  Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed.  New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.
  2. Yee AJ, Pfiffner P. (2012).  Medical Eponyms (Version 1.4.2) [Mobile Application Software].  Retrieved http://itunes.apple.com
  3. R. Heinz. Morphologische Veränderungen des roten Blutkörperchens durch Gifte. [Virchows] Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medizin, Berlin, 1890, 122: 112-116

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s