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Erythrocyte Disorders

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0
Erythrocyte Disorders
Disorders of the erythrocytes can either be classified as polycythemias or anemias.
 
Anemia
 
Anemia - Erythrocyte Disorders
Anemia is a condition where the blood has an abnormally low capacity to carry oxygen. Anemia is considered a sign of other disorders rather than as a disease in and of itself. The hallmark sign of this condition is levels of oxygen in the blood that’s inadequate to support normal metabolism. One can observe that an anemic individual easily gets fatigue, has shortness of breath, often pale and sometimes chilly. 
 
Common Causes of Anemia
 
Insufficient Red Blood Cells
 
Insufficient Red Blood Cells - Cause of Anemia
A reduction in the number of red blood cells present in the blood stream can be attributed to many things. Some possible reasons that this phenomenon happens are excessive destruction of RBC, failure of the bone marrow to create more erythrocytes and blood loss. 
 
A condition that results from excessive blood loss is called hemorrhagic anemia. Hemorrhagic anemia has two sub-classifications, namely acute and chronic hemorrhagic anemia. What happens in acute hemorrhagic anemia is there’s a rapid loss of blood. The blood loss can be replaced by blood transfusion, which may solve the problem of acute hemorrhagic anemia. Blood loss that persists for a long time, as what might happen for an undiagnosed bleeding ulcer, is what we call as chronic hemorrhagic anemia. The treatment of these two hemorrhagic anemias is fairly simple. Once the primary or underlying problem is solved, the normal erythropoietic mechanisms kick in and provide additional erythrocytes.
 
In hemolytic anemia, immature destruction of red blood cells occur, thereby decreasing the number of circulating erythrocytes. This happens because of various reasons which includes blood mismatch during transfusion, abnormalities in the hemoglobin and bacterial infections. 
 
Aplastic anemia happens when there is suppression of the red bone marrow. This suppression leads to the impaired ability of the bone marrow to create formed elements, erythrocytes included. This may be due to radiation, certain drugs or chemicals and viruses. 
 
Low Hemoglobin Content
Low Hemoglobin Content - Cause of Anemia
 
A nutritional anemia is suspected whenever the number of hemoglobin is normal but the erythrocytes contained are fewer than the usual. 
 
Iron-deficiency anemia is closely related to hemorrhagic anemia since the loss of blood constitutes to the loss of transport vehicles needed to deliver nutrients. A decrease or insufficient intake of iron rich foods and the impaired ability to absorb iron are also possible cause of IDA. The erythrocytes being produced are small in size and pale in color, which we refer to as microcytes. 
 
Pernicious anemia results from the deficiency in vitamin B12. Two factors arise as the main culprit for this type of anemia. Meats and poultry product provide sufficient amounts of vitamin B12, however, for strict vegetarians, this poses as a problem which predisposes them to pernicious anemia. In order for vitamin B12 to be absorbed, a substance called intrinsic factor must be present. This intrinsic factor is being produced by the mucosa in the stomach. The absence of intrinsic factor is the main reason for the acquiring pernicious anemia. 
 
Abnormal Hemoglobin
 
Abnormal Hemoglobin - Cause of Anemia
The production of abnormal hemoglobin is linked to genetics.
In thalassemia, an absent or faulty globin chain can be observed. The erythrocytes produced are typically deficient in hemoglobin, delicate and thin. 
 
A single change in one of the 287 amino acids in the beta chain of the globin molecule causes sickle-cell anemia. Under low-oxygen conditions, beta chains clump together, forming stiff rods and the hemoglobin appears sharp and spiky. This then causes the red blood cells to change in shape, turning it to a crescent shape. The deformed and stiff erythrocytes are very fragile and tend to clog small blood vessels. This leads to the inability to deliver oxygen, causing extreme pain and air gasping.
Erythrocyte Disorders
Disorders of the erythrocytes can either be classified as polycythemias or anemias.

 
Anemia
 
Anemia - Erythrocyte Disorders
Anemia is a condition where the blood has an abnormally low capacity to carry oxygen. Anemia is considered a sign of other disorders rather than as a disease in and of itself. The hallmark sign of this condition is levels of oxygen in the blood that’s inadequate to support normal metabolism. One can observe that an anemic individual easily gets fatigue, has shortness of breath, often pale and sometimes chilly. 
 
Common Causes of Anemia
 
Insufficient Red Blood Cells
 
Insufficient Red Blood Cells - Cause of Anemia
A reduction in the number of red blood cells present in the blood stream can be attributed to many things. Some possible reasons that this phenomenon happens are excessive destruction of RBC, failure of the bone marrow to create more erythrocytes and blood loss. 
 
A condition that results from excessive blood loss is called hemorrhagic anemia. Hemorrhagic anemia has two sub-classifications, namely acute and chronic hemorrhagic anemia. What happens in acute hemorrhagic anemia is there’s a rapid loss of blood. The blood loss can be replaced by blood transfusion, which may solve the problem of acute hemorrhagic anemia. Blood loss that persists for a long time, as what might happen for an undiagnosed bleeding ulcer, is what we call as chronic hemorrhagic anemia. The treatment of these two hemorrhagic anemias is fairly simple. Once the primary or underlying problem is solved, the normal erythropoietic mechanisms kick in and provide additional erythrocytes.
 
In hemolytic anemia, immature destruction of red blood cells occur, thereby decreasing the number of circulating erythrocytes. This happens because of various reasons which includes blood mismatch during transfusion, abnormalities in the hemoglobin and bacterial infections. 
 
Aplastic anemia happens when there is suppression of the red bone marrow. This suppression leads to the impaired ability of the bone marrow to create formed elements, erythrocytes included. This may be due to radiation, certain drugs or chemicals and viruses. 
 
Low Hemoglobin Content
Low Hemoglobin Content - Cause of Anemia
 
A nutritional anemia is suspected whenever the number of hemoglobin is normal but the erythrocytes contained are fewer than the usual. 
 
Iron-deficiency anemia is closely related to hemorrhagic anemia since the loss of blood constitutes to the loss of transport vehicles needed to deliver nutrients. A decrease or insufficient intake of iron rich foods and the impaired ability to absorb iron are also possible cause of IDA. The erythrocytes being produced are small in size and pale in color, which we refer to as microcytes. 
 
Pernicious anemia results from the deficiency in vitamin B12. Two factors arise as the main culprit for this type of anemia. Meats and poultry product provide sufficient amounts of vitamin B12, however, for strict vegetarians, this poses as a problem which predisposes them to pernicious anemia. In order for vitamin B12 to be absorbed, a substance called intrinsic factor must be present. This intrinsic factor is being produced by the mucosa in the stomach. The absence of intrinsic factor is the main reason for the acquiring pernicious anemia. 
 
Abnormal Hemoglobin
 
Abnormal Hemoglobin - Cause of Anemia
The production of abnormal hemoglobin is linked to genetics.
In thalassemia, an absent or faulty globin chain can be observed. The erythrocytes produced are typically deficient in hemoglobin, delicate and thin. 
 
A single change in one of the 287 amino acids in the beta chain of the globin molecule causes sickle-cell anemia. Under low-oxygen conditions, beta chains clump together, forming stiff rods and the hemoglobin appears sharp and spiky. This then causes the red blood cells to change in shape, turning it to a crescent shape. The deformed and stiff erythrocytes are very fragile and tend to clog small blood vessels. This leads to the inability to deliver oxygen, causing extreme pain and air gasping.
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