Font Size
A
A
A
2
...

Sickle Cell Crisis (cont.)

Sickle Cell Crisis Causes

Sickle cell disease results from mutation, or change, of certain types of hemoglobin chains in red blood cells (the beta hemoglobin chains).

The changes in the building of normal hemoglobin result in the abnormal hemoglobin of sickle cell disease. These mutated molecules do not have the smooth motion needed for oxygenation and deoxygenation. When the oxygen concentration in the blood is reduced, the red blood cell assumes the characteristic sickle shape. This causes the red blood cell to be stiff and rigid, and stops the smooth passage of the red blood cells through the narrow blood vessels.

It does not take much imagination to see sharp-end "sickled" red cells stacking up in narrow blood vessels known as capillaries. When this happens, red blood cells are not able to carry oxygen to tissues, and tissue cell injury or death occurs. Someone with sickle cell disease would be experiencing pain with this process-the sickle cell crisis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/11/2014
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Sickle Cell Crisis

Anemia
Anemia Anemia can be caused by many conditions and diseases such as iron deficiency, poor diet and nutrition, cancers, bone marrow problems, and more. Symptoms of anem...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Sickle Cell Disease:

Sickle Cell Disease - Treatment

What was the treatment for your sickle cell disease (sickle cell anemia)?

Sickle Cell Disease - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your sickle cell crisis?

Sickle Cell Disease - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with sickle cell disease (sickle cell anemia).



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Sickle Cell Anemia »

Sickle cell disease (SCD) and its variants are genetic disorders of mutant hemoglobins (Hb).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary