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hereditary spherocytosis

hereditary spherocytosis in Medicine

hereditary spherocytosis n.
A congenital defect in the cell membrane of red blood cells resulting in thickened, fragile red blood cells that are susceptible to spontaneous hemolysis and marked by chronic anemia, reticulocytosis, mild jaundice, and fever and abdominal pain. Also called chronic acholuric jaundice, chronic familial jaundice, congenital hemolytic anemia, congenital hemolytic jaundice, spherocytic anemia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for hereditary spherocytosis

congenital blood disorder characterized by an enlarged spleen, spherical (rather than disk-shaped) red blood cells of variable size and increased fragility of cell membrane, and a chronic, mild hemolytic anemia punctuated by episodes of severe aplastic anemia (failure of bone marrow to produce cells). Hereditary spherocytosis, the most frequent of the familial anemias, is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait; it is most common among people of northern European descent. Symptoms may be present at birth or may not appear until old age; the disease is most often identified during childhood or adolescence. Removal of the spleen results in cure of anemia in nearly all cases; the defects in blood production remain but do not cause serious disability.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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