What causes extreme susceptibility to infection in sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: Nov 26, 2019
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

As HbS replaces HbF in the early months of life, problems associated with sickling and red cell membrane damage begin. The resulting rigid cells progressively obstruct and damage the spleen, which leads to functional asplenia. This, along with other abnormalities, results in extreme susceptibility to infection.


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