9 Major Causes of Basophilic Stippling

Basophilic stippling, which is also known as Punctate Basophilia is referred to as a blood related condition or a disease which is inherited in a person by birth. It is an abnormal observation which comes to fore in a blood smear test. This anomaly in the smear test indicates towards possible lead poisoning in the individual/ patient.

It may also be an indication of some other injury of the bone marrow, and/ or anemia (megaloblastic anemia). There are several causes of this anomaly in the blood smear.A list of the common causes of basophilic stippling is given below:

major causes of basophilic stippling

1. Thalassemia

This is a blood related disorder inherited by a person since birth and is associated with the abnormal synthesis of the haemoglobin. Thalessemia is a leading cause of Basophilic stippling.

2. Iron Deficiency

Iron is a very important component which contributes in the making of blood. A deficiency in iron leads to a lack in the number of RBCs in the blood. This is also referred to as anemia. An iron deficiency along with a reduction in the number of RBCs, can also lead to Basophilic stippling.

3. Lead Poisoning

As mentioned above if an individual has lead poisoning, it may be indicated through a basophilic stippling in the blood smear. Higher than normal levels of lead in the blood can cause a lot of damage to the brain, the kidneys, RBCs and the nervous system as a whole.

4. Hemoglobin C Disease

This is also an inherited blood disorder which occurs when a child inherits the S hemoglobin from one parent and the C hemoglobin from the other parent. It is a form of a sickle cell disease which shows up in the blood smear test as a basophilic stippling.

5. Hemoglobin EE Disease

This is the specific kind of abnormality wherein there is a single point mutation of the beta chain in the hemoglobin. It causes basophilic stippling of the blood smear.

6. Nucleic Material Clumping

When the nucleic acid inside the cells in the blood is not at its normal position, it may cause basophilic stippling. The stippling/ the spots in this case represent the position where the mitochondria and the RNA end up clumping together.

7. Hemoglobin S Disease

This is one of the most common types of hemoglobin abnormality and is the basis of most sickle cell traits derivation. This condition also causes the basophilic stippling to become apparent in a blood smear test.

8. Hemoglobin Instabilities

Like most other hemoglobin abnormalities, instability in the hemoglobin chain will also show up in form of basophilic stippling and is one of its leading causes.

9. Insufficient Supply of Oxygen

When the blood cells are not able to absorb oxygen properly or even when the level of oxygen is low in the environment itself, the human body reacts by increasing and sort of disrupting the production of RBCs. The cytoplasm of these newly produced RBCs is immature which gets clumped and hence lead to basophilic stippling.