U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Send to:

Choose Destination

Target cells

MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Synonyms: Bell-shaped erythrocyte (in vivo); Codocyte; Codocytes; Leptocyte; Target cell
SNOMED CT: Target cell (112660002); Codocyte (112660002); Bell-shaped erythrocyte (in vivo) (112660002); Leptocyte (259686006)
HPO: HP:0034280


Target cells (codocytes) have a centrally located disk of hemoglobin surrounded by an area of pallor with an outer rim of hemoglobin adjacent to the cell membrane giving the cell the appearance of a target. [from HPO]

Term Hierarchy

CClinical test,  RResearch test,  OOMIM,  GGeneReviews,  VClinVar  
  • CROGVTarget cells

Conditions with this feature

Hb SS disease
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by intermittent vaso-occlusive events and chronic hemolytic anemia. Vaso-occlusive events result in tissue ischemia leading to acute and chronic pain as well as organ damage that can affect any organ system, including the bones, spleen, liver, brain, lungs, kidneys, and joints. Dactylitis (pain and/or swelling of the hands or feet) is often the earliest manifestation of SCD. In children, the spleen can become engorged with blood cells in a "splenic sequestration." The spleen is particularly vulnerable to infarction and the majority of individuals with SCD who are not on hydroxyurea or transfusion therapy become functionally asplenic in early childhood, increasing their risk for certain types of bacterial infections, primarily encapsulated organisms. Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is a major cause of mortality in SCD. Chronic hemolysis can result in varying degrees of anemia, jaundice, cholelithiasis, and delayed growth and sexual maturation as well as activating pathways that contribute to the pathophysiology directly. Individuals with the highest rates of hemolysis are at higher risk for pulmonary artery hypertension, priapism, and leg ulcers and may be relatively protected from vaso-occlusive pain.

Professional guidelines


Cui X, Wang F, Liu C
Front Immunol 2023;14:1062045. Epub 2023 Jan 19 doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1062045. PMID: 36742308Free PMC Article
Torres RP, Santos FP, Branco JC
ARP Rheumatol 2022 Oct 1;1(3):225-229. PMID: 35724450
Dastjerd NT, Valibeik A, Rahimi Monfared S, Goodarzi G, Moradi Sarabi M, Hajabdollahi F, Maniati M, Amri J, Samavarchi Tehrani S
Cell Biochem Funct 2022 Jan;40(1):28-48. Epub 2021 Dec 14 doi: 10.1002/cbf.3676. PMID: 34904722

Recent systematic reviews

Dżaman K, Czerwaty K, Reichert TE, Szczepański MJ, Ludwig N
Int J Mol Sci 2023 Jul 31;24(15) doi: 10.3390/ijms241512277. PMID: 37569652Free PMC Article
Glass GE
Aesthet Surg J 2023 Apr 10;43(5):NP357-NP371. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjad018. PMID: 36722207Free PMC Article
Rothschild-Rodriguez D, Causer AJ, Brown FF, Collier-Bain HD, Moore S, Murray J, Turner JE, Campbell JP
Exerc Immunol Rev 2022;28:1-35. PMID: 35452398
Ochani RK, Batra S, Shaikh A, Asad A
Infez Med 2019 Jun 1;27(2):117-127. PMID: 31205033
Kümler I, Tuxen MK, Nielsen DL
Cancer Treat Rev 2014 Mar;40(2):259-70. Epub 2013 Sep 11 doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2013.09.002. PMID: 24080156

Supplemental Content

Table of contents

    Clinical resources

    Practice guidelines

    • PubMed
      See practice and clinical guidelines in PubMed. The search results may include broader topics and may not capture all published guidelines. See the FAQ for details.
    • Bookshelf
      See practice and clinical guidelines in NCBI Bookshelf. The search results may include broader topics and may not capture all published guidelines. See the FAQ for details.

    Consumer resources

    Recent activity

    Your browsing activity is empty.

    Activity recording is turned off.

    Turn recording back on

    See more...