Bone marrow - nonneoplastic
Systemic disorders
Alcohol abuse

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 27 June 2017, last major update December 2006

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Bone marrow alcohol abuse

Cite this page: Alcohol abuse. website. Accessed October 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • May cause hypocellular marrow or reactive myeloblastosis with up to 34% blasts
  • Vacuoles in proerythroblasts and other precursors
  • Also ringed sideroblasts and iron granules in plasma cells
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Marked megaloblastic features

Markedly hypercellular

Bone marrow: intracytoplasmic vacuoless

Multiple coarses granules

Plasma cell: iron granules forming plaque

Hemosiderin granules in normoblast

Peripheral smear description
  • Leukopenia with vacuoles, hypersegmentation of neutrophils, thrombocytopenia
  • Iron granules in plasma cells and other cells
Peripheral smear images

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Peripheral blood erythrocytes

Toxic granulation and Döhle bodies

Vacuolation of peripheral blood cells

Electron microscopy images

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Marrow plasma cell has dense aggregate of iron

Iron laden organelle
in upper cell may
correspond to
microscopic plaque

Differential diagnosis
  • Cytoplasmic vacuoles also due to copper deficiency, hematogones, lipid storage diseases, lipid granulomas, monocytes, Mott cells
Additional references