Slideshows Images Quizzes

Copyright © 2018 by RxList Inc. RxList does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

Definition of Red blood cell

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Red blood cell: The blood cell that carries oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is the hemoglobin which permits them to transport oxygen (and carbon dioxide). Hemoglobin, aside from being a transport molecule, is a pigment. It gives the cell its red color (and name).

The mature red blood cell (RBC) is a non-nucleated biconcave disk. Thanks to this unusual shape and its hemoglobin content, the RBC is superbly suited to the transport of oxygen.

A red blood cell is sometimes simply referred to as a red cell. It is also called an erythrocyte or, rarely today, a red blood corpuscle.

Picture of Red Blood Cells
Picture of Red Blood Cells

QUESTION

What causes tooth decay? See Answer
Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors