Chilton Medical Center - ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)  font size
PrintEmail
Search Health Information   

Red blood cells, elliptocytosis
Red blood cells, elliptocytosis


Blood cells
Blood cells


Hereditary elliptocytosis

Definition:

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

See also:



Alternative Names:

Elliptocytosis - hereditary



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.



Symptoms:
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice) - may persist for a long time in a newborn


Signs and tests:

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

The following tests may help diagnose the condition:

  • Bilirubin level may be high.
  • Blood smear may show elliptical red blood cells.
  • Complete blood count (CBC) may show anemia or signs of red blood cell destruction.
  • Lactate dehydrogenase level may be high.
  • Ultrasound of the gallbladder may show gallstones.


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.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

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



Complications:

Elliptocytosis is frequently harmless. In mild cases, fewer than 15% of red blood cells are elliptical-shaped. However, some people may have crises in which the red blood cells rupture, especially if they have a viral infection. Persons with this disease can develop anemia , jaundice, and gallstones .



Calling your health care provider:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have jaundice that doesn't go away or symptoms of anemia or gallstones.



Prevention:

Genetic counseling may be appropriate for persons with a family history of this disease who wish to become parents.



References:

Gallagher PG. Hemolytic anemias:  red cell membrane and metabolic defects In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 164.




Review Date: 2/8/2012
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Palm Beach Cancer Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network; Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Morristown Medical Center
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center
99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center
175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center
97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

© 2014 Chilton Medical Center, 97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains, New Jersey 1-973-831-5000