erythrocyte; red blood cell (RBC)

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Red blood cells containing hemoglobin specialized to transport oxygen. In mammals, erythrocytes lose their nucleus, GOLGI, centrioles, endoplasmic reticulum & most of their mitochondria during maturation in the bone marrow before entering the blood stream.

Normal erythrocyte life span is 120 days.

Total body erythrocyte volume

  • males: 25-35 mL/kg
  • females 20-30 mL/kg


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  1. Medical Knowledge Self Assessment Program (MKSAP) 11, American College of Physicians, Philadelphia 1998
  2. Stedman's Medical Dictionary 27th ed, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1999