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Principles of Critical Care, 3e
Part XI. Special Problems in Critical Care
Chapter 108. Sickle Cell Disease
Gregory J. Kato, Mark T. Gladwin
sickle cell anemia.
Sickle cell disease is a highly prevalent disease in the United States, affecting 1 in 500 African American infants. It is common in individuals of African, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Arab, and other Middle Eastern descent. It is a genetic disorder with an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. Sickle cell disease is often called "the first molecular disease" because the biochemical alteration in sickle hemoglobin described by Linus Pauling in 1948 was one of the first lesions identified at the molecular level for a human disease. Sickle hemoglobin forms rod-like polymers in deoxygenated red cells in areas of the circulation, with low oxygen tension, acidosis, or hyperosmolarity. Sickle hemoglobin polymerization causes a host of secondary molecular and cellular changes, many of which impair blood flow and contribute to tissue damage. The microcirculation can be acutely or chronically impaired in virtually any organ in the body, resulting in the characteristic crisis pattern of intermittent pain and acute organ injury superimposed on the gradual development of chronic organ failure...."
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