ID#: 19428
Under a magnification of 1000X, this photomicrograph revealed the presence of a deformed red blood cell (RBC), or erythrocyte (arrowhead), which had taken on a flattened, sickle-shaped appearance, unlike the rounded, biconcave appearance assumed by the surrounding normal RBCs. This RBC morphology was indicative of sickle cell disease (SCD), a genetic condition that is present at birth. It is inherited when a child receives two sickle cell genes, one from each parent. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they easily move through small blood vessels, while sickle cells are sticky, and have a difficult time freely moving through the vessels. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Vessel obstruction can cause pain and other serious problems including infection, acute chest syndrome, and stroke.
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Content Provider(s): CDC/ Dr. F. Gilbert
Creation Date: 1972
Photo Credit:
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions: None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions.