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A schistocyte or schizocyte (from Greek schistos for "divided" or schistein for "to split", and kytos for "hollow" or "cell") is a fragmented part of a red blood cell. Schistocytes are typically irregularly shaped, jagged, and have two pointed ends. A true schistocyte does not have central pallor. Schistocytes are sometimes referred to as "helmet cells".
Several microangiopathic diseases, including disseminated intravascular coagulation and thrombotic microangiopathies, generate fibrin strands that sever red blood cells as they try to move past a thrombus, creating schistocytes.
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