sickle cell disease

heme015.jpg (70989 bytes)

This is sickle cell anemia in sickle cell crisis. The abnormal hemoglobin SS is prone to crystallization when oxygen tension is low, and the RBC's change shape to long, thin sickle forms that sludge in capillaries, further decreasing blood flow and oxygen tension. Persons with sickle cell trait (Hemoglobin AS) are much less likely to have this happen.

heme062.jpg (54645 bytes)

Here is another example of sickled erythrocytes in a patient with Hgb SS who presented with severe abdominal pain in sickle crisis. The sickled cells are prone to stick together, plugging smaller vessels and leading to decreased blood flow with ischemia.

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