basophilic stippling

(redirected from punctate stippling)

basophilic stippling

Etymology: Gk, basis + philein, to love; D, stippen, to prick
the presence of punctate blue nucleic acid remnants in red blood cells, observed under the microscope on a Wright-Giemsa-stained blood film. Stippling is characteristic of lead poisoning. See also lead poisoning.

basophilic stippling

A finding in Wright-Giemsa-stained RBCs that appear as “blue” dots, spots and blots within RBCs, consisting of:
(1) RNA granules—coarse stippling due to RNA instability in young RBCs, seen in lead poisoning (lead inhibits ALA dehydrogenase and ferrochetolase, impairing haeme incorporation and inhibiting nucleotidase), defective HbC or HbE synthesis, sideroblastic or megaloblastic anaemia, thalassemia major and minor, preleukaemic states and pyrimidine 5’-nucleotidase deficiency;
(2) Aggregates of precipitated ribosomes—fine stippling, resulting in diffuse polychromasia secondary to increased RBC production in thalassemia, malabsorption and pernicious anaemia.


staining readily with basic dyes.

basophilic bone matrix
vitamin D poisoning causes the appearance of intensely basophilic bone matrix of a distincitive pattern.
basophilic cell
see basophil cell.
basophilic enterocolitis
one of the several types of enterocolitis causing chronic diarrhea in horses characterized by fibrinous and ulcerative typhlocolitis and basophilic infiltrates in the regional mucosa and submucosa.
basophilic leukemia
basophilic rubricyte
a stage in cellular maturation of erythrocytes, between the prorubricyte and polychromatophilic rubricyte. Characterized by a narrow rim of dark blue cytoplasm and condensed nuclear chromatin in a 'cartwheel' pattern.
basophilic stippling
distinct or diffuse, fine to coarse, dark granular pattern in erythrocytes, representing aggregated ribosomes and caused by ineffective heme formation. Seen in lead poisoning, mainly in dogs and a characteristic of active erythropoiesis in sheep and cattle.


a spotted condition or appearance, such as an appearance of the retina as if dotted with light and dark points, or the spotted appearance of the erythrocytes in basophilic stippling.

basophilic stippling
see basophilic stippling.