Differences Between Thick Blood Smear and Thin Blood Smear

Differences Between Thick Blood Smear and Thin Blood Smear


Thick Blood Smear

Thin Blood Smear


Thick blood smears are most useful for detecting the presence of parasites.Thin blood smears helps to discover which species of parasite is causing the infection.


A thick blood smear is a drop of blood on a glass slide.A thin blood smear is a drop of blood that is spread across a large area of the slide.


The blood films must be laked before or during staining to rupture all the RBC so that only WBC, platelets and parasites are visualized.The purpose is to allow malarial parasites to be seen within the RBC and to assess the size of the infected RBCs compared to uninfected RBCs


Thick smears allow a more efficient detection of parasites (increased sensitivity 11 times than thin smear).Less sensitive than a thick film especially where there is a low parasitemia.


It is not fixed in methanol.It is fixed in methanol.


Thick smears are mainly used to detect infection and to estimate parasitemia.Thin smears allow the examiner to identify malaria species, quantify parasitemia, and recognize parasite forms like schizonts and gametocytes.

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