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Definition

Characterized by abnormally shaped red cells resulting in chronic anemia and periodic episodes of pain, serious infections and damage to vital organs. Normal red blood cells are round and flexible and flow easily through blood vessels, but in sickle cell anemia, the abnormal hemoglobin (called Hb S) causes red blood cells to become stiff. They are C-shaped and resembles a sickle. These stiffer red blood cells can led to microvascular occlusion thus cutting off the blood supply to nearby tissues.

Acronym

SKCA

Synonyms

Sickle cell disease

 
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