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Test Code RETLMW Reticulocytes (EPIC LAB296)

Important Note

Battery contains RETICP, RETICA, RETIRF, and RETHE.


Flow Cytometry

Performing Laboratory

St. Luke's Hospital Cedar Rapids

Specimen Requirements

Container/Tube: Lavender-top (EDTA) tube
Specimen: 1 mL to 3 mL (minimum volume: 0.5 mL) of EDTA whole blood

Transport Temperature: Ambient ≤3 hours

Collection Instructions: If there is a delay in transport of >3 hours but ≤24 hours, send specimen refrigerated.

Reference Values

Reticulocyte %:

0-1 year: 3.1-8.1%

>1 year: 0.7-2.3%


Reticulocyte absolute:

>1 year:  0.0304-0.1092 mil/mm3


Immature Reticulocyte Fraction:

>1 year:  4.0-12.2%


Reticulocyte hemoglobin:

30-40 pg

Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Sunday 24/7

Test Classification and CPT Coding


Useful For

Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells with a life span in peripheral blood of 1 to 2 days, before they mature to RBC.  The reticulocyte count is a relatively accurate reflection of the amount of effective red cell production taking place in the bone marrow.  The test is performed routinely to aid in anemia classification.  A decreased retic count is found in aplastic anemia and in conditions in which the bone marrow is not producing RBC. Increased retic counts are found in hemolytic anemias, post iron therapy in iron deficiency anemia, thalassemia, sideroblastic anemia, and in acute and chronic blood loss.