What are causes of increased nucleated red blood cells (nRBCs) in the circulation?

By William Aird

Nucleated red blood cells are a reflection of extreme increases in erythropoietic activity as seen in/with:

  • Hemoglobinopathies
  • Brisk hemolysis
  • Rapid blood loss
  • Other conditions of hematopoietic stress such as sepsis
  • Damage or stress to bone marrow, for example in:
    • Chronic myeloid leukemia
    • Acute leukemia
    • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Chemotherapy
  • Myelophthisic conditions, including:
    • Metastatic cancer to bone marrow
    • Bone marrow fibrosis