In iron deficiency anemia, the peripheral smear usually shows anisocytosis and poikilocytosis. In severe cases, cigar-shaped RBCs and elliptocytes are characteristically present. Conversely, polychromasia (the Wright-Giemsa stain equivalent of reticulocytosis) and basophilic stippling are conspicuously absent.
By permission of the publisher. From Tefferi A, Li C. In Atlas of Clinical Hematology . Edited by JO Armitage. Philadelphia, Current Medicine, 2004.