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This scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image revealed some of the ultrastructure displayed by red blood cells (RBCs) from a 6-year-old male patient that has sickle cell with hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (S-HPFH). The persistent fetal hemoglobin reduces the severity of the consequences of the sickle cell disease, thereby, reducing the degree of cellular deformity, or sickling. See PHIL 11694 for a colorized version of this image. Sickle cell disease encompasses a group of inherited RBC disorders. Healthy RBCs are round, and move smoothly through blood vessels. In sickle cell disease, the RBCs become hard, and sticky, and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a sickle. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of RBCs. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems.
High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (5.49 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia: Jackie George, Beverly Sinclair
Creation Date:2009
Photo Credit:Janice Haney Carr
Links:Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc.
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.