Spur Cell Anemia

3 Learning Points from Noon Report:

1. Spur cells, also known as acanthocytes, are spiculated or "thorned" red blood cells seen in severe cirrhosis due to increased cell membrane cholesterol and subsequent remodeling in the spleen.

2.  Spur cells can lead to a brisk and significant hemolytic anemia, and are associated with a poor prognosis.  The more spur cells, the worse the prognosis. See Figures 1 and 2.

3.  Treatment of Spur Cell Anemia: Liver transplant is curative.