A degmacyte (aka “bite cell”) is an abnormally shaped RBC with one or more semicircular portions removed from the cell margin.These “bites” result from the removal of denatured hemoglobin by macrophages in the spleen.
Individuals with RBC enzymopathies involving the pentose phosphate shunt most notably the Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, where the uncontrolled oxidative stress causes hemoglobin to denature and precipitate to form inclusions called Heinz bodies.
Additionally, they can also be seen in drug-induced hemolysis. These drugs may have constituents or metabolites that contain amino, nitro or hydroxy groups.
The hallmark of the Degmacyte is the presence of one or a few small semicircular portions of the RBC cell surface “biten” off.