Heinz Bodies

Other Known Aliases Heinz-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.

Clinical Significance Seen in conditions with high oxidative stress such as G6PD deficiency, alpha thalassemia, NADPH deficiency, chronic liver disease, and asplenia.

HistoryNamed after Robert Heinz (1865-1924), a German physician and pharmcologist who recieved his medical doctorate from the University of Breslau in 1888. He would work in the university chemical laboratory in Jena and Munich throughout his career studying pathology, inflammation, degeneration, and regeneration of blood. It was during this time, specifically in 1890, that he published a study on the blood of guinea pigs treated with acetylphenylhydrazine to intoduce oxidative inflammation and identified his eponymous cellular structure. Of note, Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) is also regionally credited with identifying this structure but did not formally publish his findings.


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