What is the pathogenesis of chronic hemolytic anemia in sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

SCD is a form of hemolytic anemia, with red cell survival of around 10-20 days. Approximately one third of the hemolysis occurs intravascularly, releasing free hemoglobin (plasma free hemoglobin [PFH]) and arginase into plasma. PFH has been associated with endothelial injury including scavenging nitric oxide (NO), proinflammatory stress, and coagulopathy, resulting in vasomotor instability and proliferative vasculopathy.


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