Sickle Cell Anemia

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WEEK 1 LAB

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Sickle Cell Anemia

  1. 1. SICKLE CELL ANEMIA BIOCHEMISTRY LABORATORY WEEK 1
  2. 2. What Is Sickle Cell Anemia? <ul><li>Sickle cell anemia is a serious disease in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. “Sickle-shaped” means that the red blood cells are shaped like a &quot;C.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Normal red blood cells are disc-shaped and look like doughnuts without holes in the center. They move easily through your blood vessels. Red blood cells contain the protein hemoglobin. This iron-rich protein gives blood its red color and carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Is Sickle Cell Anemia? <ul><li>Sickle cells contain abnormal hemoglobin that causes the cells to have a sickle shape. Sickle-shaped cells don’t move easily through your blood vessels. They’re stiff and sticky and tend to form clumps and get stuck in the blood vessels. (Other cells also may play a role in this clumping process.) </li></ul><ul><li>The clumps of sickle cells block blood flow in the blood vessels that lead to the limbs and organs. Blocked blood vessels can cause pain, serious infections, and organ damage. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What Is Sickle Cell Anemia?
  5. 5. Overview <ul><li>Sickle cell anemia is one type of anemia. Anemia is a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells. This condition also can occur if your red blood cells don’t have enough hemoglobin. </li></ul><ul><li>Red blood cells are made in the spongy marrow inside the large bones of the body. Bone marrow is always making new red blood cells to replace old ones. Normal red blood cells last about 120 days in the bloodstream and then die. They carry oxygen and remove carbon dioxide (a waste product) from your body. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Overview <ul><li>In sickle cell anemia, a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells occurs because sickle cells don’t last very long. Sickle cells usually die after only about 10 to 20 days. The bone marrow can’t make new red blood cells fast enough to replace the dying ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Sickle cell anemia is an inherited, lifelong disease. People who have the disease are born with it. They inherit two copies of the sickle cell gene—one from each parent. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Overview <ul><li>People who inherit a sickle cell gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other parent have a condition called sickle cell trait. Sickle cell trait is different from sickle cell anemia. People who have sickle cell trait don’t have the disease, but they have one of the genes that cause it. Like people who have sickle cell anemia, people who have sickle cell trait can pass the gene to their children. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia? <ul><li>Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease. People who have the disease inherit two copies of the sickle cell gene—one from each parent. </li></ul><ul><li>The sickle cell gene causes the body to make abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color and carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. </li></ul>
  9. 9. What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia? <ul><li>In sickle cell anemia, the hemoglobin sticks together when it delivers oxygen to the body’s tissues. These clumps of hemoglobin are like liquid fibers. They cause the red blood cells to become stiff and shaped like a sickle, or “C.” The sickled red blood cells tend to stick together and get caught in the blood vessels. (Other cells also may play a role in this process.) </li></ul><ul><li>Two copies of the sickle cell gene are needed for the body to make the abnormal hemoglobin found in sickle cell anemia. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sickle Cell Trait <ul><li>If you inherit only one copy of the sickle cell gene (from one parent), you will not have sickle cell anemia. Instead, you will have sickle cell trait. </li></ul><ul><li>People who have sickle cell trait usually have no symptoms and lead normal lives. However, they can pass the sickle cell gene to their children. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Example of an Inheritance Pattern for Sickle Cell Trait
  12. 12. Who Is At Risk for Sickle Cell Anemia? <ul><li>Sickle cell anemia is most common in people whose families come from Africa, South or Central America (especially Panama), Caribbean islands, Mediterranean countries (such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy), India, and Saudi Arabia. </li></ul>
  13. 13. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia? <ul><li>The signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia vary. Some people have mild symptoms. Others have very severe symptoms and often are hospitalized for treatment. </li></ul><ul><li>Sickle cell anemia is present at birth, but many infants don’t show any signs until after 4 months of age. </li></ul>
  14. 14. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia? <ul><li>Signs and Symptoms Related to Anemia </li></ul><ul><li>The most common symptom of anemia is fatigue (feeling tired or weak). Other signs and symptoms of anemia include: </li></ul><ul><li>Shortness of breath </li></ul><ul><li>Dizziness </li></ul><ul><li>Headache </li></ul><ul><li>Coldness in the hands and feet </li></ul><ul><li>Pale skin </li></ul><ul><li>Chest pain </li></ul>
  15. 15. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia? <ul><li>Signs and Symptoms Related to Pain </li></ul><ul><li>Sudden pain throughout the body is a common symptom of sickle cell anemia. This pain is called a &quot;sickle cell crisis.&quot; Sickle cell crises often affect the bones, lungs, abdomen, and joints. </li></ul><ul><li>A sickle cell crisis occurs when sickled red blood cells form clumps in the bloodstream. (Other cells also may play a role in this clumping process.) These clumps of cells block blood flow through the small blood vessels in the limbs and organs. This can cause pain and organ damage. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Complications of Sickle Cell Anemia <ul><li>Hand-Foot Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Sickle cells can block the small blood vessels in the hands or feet. This condition is called hand-foot syndrome. It can lead to pain, swelling, and fever. One or both hands and/or feet may be affected at the same time. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Complications of Sickle Cell Anemia <ul><li>Splenic Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>The spleen is an organ in the abdomen. Normally, it filters out abnormal red blood cells and helps fight infection. In some cases, the spleen may trap cells that should be in the bloodstream. This causes the spleen to grow large and leads to anemia. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Complications of Sickle Cell Anemia <ul><li>Acute Chest Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Acute chest syndrome is a life-threatening condition linked to sickle cell anemia. It’s similar to pneumonia. The condition is caused by an infection or sickle cells trapped in the lungs. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Complications of Sickle Cell Anemia <ul><li>Priapism </li></ul><ul><li>Males who have sickle cell anemia may have painful and unwanted erections. This condition is called priapism (PRI-a-pizm). It happens because the sickle cells block blood flow out of an erect penis. Over time, priapism can damage the penis and lead to impotence. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Complications of Sickle Cell Anemia <ul><li>Multiple Organ Failure </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple organ failure is rare, but serious. It happens if you have a sickle cell crisis that causes two out of three major organs (lungs, liver, or kidney) to fail. </li></ul><ul><li>Symptoms of this complication are a fever and changes in mental status, such as sudden tiredness and loss of interest in your surroundings. </li></ul>
  21. 21. How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Diagnosed? <ul><li>Early diagnosis of sickle cell anemia is very important. Children who have the disease need prompt and proper treatment. </li></ul><ul><li>The test uses blood from the same blood samples used for other routine newborn screening tests. It can show whether a newborn infant has sickle cell anemia or sickle cell trait. </li></ul>
  22. 22. How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treated? <ul><li>Sickle cell anemia has no widely available cure. However, treatments can help relieve symptoms and treat complications. The goals of treating sickle cell anemia are to relieve pain; prevent infections, eye damage, and strokes; and control complications (if they occur). </li></ul><ul><li>Bone marrow transplants may offer a cure in a small number of sickle cell anemia cases. Researchers continue to look for new treatments for the disease. These include gene therapy and improved bone marrow </li></ul>
  23. 23. How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treated? <ul><li>Bone Marrow Transplant </li></ul><ul><li>A bone marrow transplant can work well for treating sickle cell anemia. This treatment may even offer a cure in a small number of cases. </li></ul><ul><li>However, the procedure is risky and can lead to serious side effects or even death. Because of this, only some people can or should have this procedure. </li></ul>
  24. 24. How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treated? <ul><li>Gene Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Gene therapy is being studied as a possible treatment for sickle cell anemia. Researchers want to know whether a normal gene can be put in the bone marrow of a person who has sickle cell anemia. This would cause the body to make normal red blood cells. </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers also are studying whether they can &quot;turn off&quot; the sickle cell gene or &quot;turn on&quot; a gene that makes red blood cells behave normally. </li></ul>
  25. 25. How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treated? <ul><li>Researchers are studying several new medicines for sickle cell anemia. These include: </li></ul><ul><li>Butyric acid . This is a food additive that may increase normal hemoglobin in the blood. </li></ul><ul><li>Nitric oxide . This medicine may make sickle cells less sticky and keep blood vessels open. People who have sickle cell anemia have low levels of nitric oxide in their blood. </li></ul><ul><li>Decitadine . This medicine increases hemoglobin F levels (this type of hemoglobin carries more oxygen). It may be a good choice instead of hydroxyurea. </li></ul>
  26. 26. How Can Sickle Cell Anemia Be Prevented? <ul><li>You can't prevent sickle cell anemia because it’s an inherited disease. However, you can take steps to reduce its complications. </li></ul><ul><li>People who are at high risk for sickle cell anemia and are planning to have children may want to consider genetic counseling. A counselor can help you understand your risk of having a child who has the disease and help explain the choices that are available to you. </li></ul>

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