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Neutrophils on a blood film.

The neutrophil, AKA polymorphonucleocyte or PMN is a white blood cell. It is often seen in the context of acute inflammation.


  • Little dots = the multilobular nucleus - key feature.
  • Neutrophils are often found with friends, i.e. lymphocytes, plasma cells.

DDx of little dots:

  • Nuclear debris - apoptotic cell.
    • Apoptotic cell -- has nuclear condensation (pyknosis), eosinophilic cytoplasm.


  • You find PMNs by their nucleus; on a histologic section don't bother looking for the cell membrane (they are usually impossible to see).
  • A collection of PMNs... think about necrosis and abscess.


Hypersegmentation = megaloblastic anemia.[1]

See also


  1. Klatt, Edward C. (2006). Robbins and Cotran Atlas of Pathology (1st ed.). Saunders. pp. 63. ISBN 978-1416002741.