What is the role of nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Hypoxia also decreases nitric oxide production, thereby adding to the adhesion of sickle cells to the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator. Free Hb is an avid scavenger of nitric oxide. Because of the continuing active hemolysis, there is free Hb in the plasma, and it scavenges nitric oxide, thus contributing to vasoconstriction.

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