Hereditary elliptocytosis

Alternative Names

Elliptocytosis – hereditary

Definition of Hereditary elliptocytosis

Hereditary elliptocytosis is a disorder passed down through families in which the red blood cells are abnormally shaped.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Elliptocytosis affects about 1 in every 2,500 people of northern European heritage. It is more common in people of African and Mediterranean descent. You are more likely to develop this condition if someone in your family has had it.

Signs and tests

An examination by your health care provider may occasionally show an enlarged spleen.

Treatment

There is no treatment needed for the disorder unless severe anemia or anemia symptoms occur. Surgery to remove the spleen may decrease the rate of red blood cell damage.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most persons with hereditary elliptocytosis have no problems, and are unaware of their condition.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/5/2010

Red blood cells, elliptocytosis
Blood cells

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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