|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.