sickle-cell anemia

sickle–cell anemia


medical : a serious disease that affects the red blood cells and occurs mostly in people of African, Mediterranean, or southwest Asian ancestry

Full Definition of SICKLE-CELL ANEMIA

:  a chronic inherited anemia that occurs primarily in individuals of African, Mediterranean, or southwest Asian ancestry who are homozygous for the gene controlling hemoglobin S and that is characterized especially by episodic blocking of small blood vessels by sickle cells —called also sickle-cell disease



sickle–cell anemia

noun    (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SICKLE–CELL ANEMIA

: a chronic anemia that occurs in individuals (as those of African or Mediterranean descent) who are homozygous for the gene controlling hemoglobin S and that is characterized by destruction of red blood cells and by episodic blocking of blood vessels by the adherence of sickle cells to the vascular endothelium which causes the serious complications of the disease (as organ failure)

Illustration of SICKLE–CELL ANEMIA

sickle-cell anemia

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Blood disorder (see hemoglobinopathy) seen mainly in persons of Sub-Saharan African ancestry and their descendants and in those from the Middle East, the Mediterranean area, and India. About 1 in 400 blacks worldwide has the disease, caused by inheriting two copies of a recessive gene that makes those with one copy (about 1 in 12 blacks worldwide) resistant to malaria. The gene specifies a variant hemoglobin (hemoglobin S or Hb S) that distorts red blood cells (erythrocytes) into a rigid sickle shape. The cells become clogged in capillaries, damaging or destroying various tissues. Symptoms include chronic anemia, shortness of breath, fever, and episodic “crises” (severe pain in the abdomen, bones, or muscles). Hydroxyurea treatment triggers production of fetal hemoglobin (Hb F), which does not sickle, greatly lessening severity of crises and increasing life expectancy, previously about 45 years.


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