We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Spherocytosis?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Spherocytosis is an inherited blood disorder where the red blood cells are misshapen, leading to an increased rate of breakdown and anemia for the patient as the supply of red blood cells is depleted. It is a dominant trait and can manifest in varying degrees of intensity, depending on the precise combination of genes a person inherits. There are treatment options available, although it is not possible to completely cure the disease, as it is the result of an innate genetic problem with the coding the body uses to produce red blood cells.

This disorder is sometimes termed a cell membrane disorder, because it involves errors in the proteins used to make the membrane of red blood cells. In healthy individuals, red blood cells are normally shaped rather like a disc with raised edges, a shape sometimes compared to that of a doughnut with a filled center. In patients with spherocytosis, the red blood cells are spherical and the surface area of the cell is small, making the cells prone to rupture.

When the spleen encounters the round cells, it thinks they are diseased and destroys them. This can lead to anemia, as the body cannot produce red blood cells as quickly as the patient's spleen destroys them. People with spherocytosis can develop jaundice and enlargement of the spleen. They may also feel fatigued and weak as a result of anemia and can enter a medical crisis if the red blood cell count gets low enough.

Treatment for spherocytosis can include dietary supplements, as well as splenectomy, removal of the spleen. This procedure will halt the breakdown of red blood cells, but can pose a risk to the patient, especially in young children. Doctors may recommend waiting on removal of the spleen as long as possible, only taking the organ out if it is clearly medically necessary. After surgery, the patient should experience an improvement in symptoms. The misshapen cells will still be present, but the anemia will resolve.

People with a family history of spherocytosis may pass on defective genes to their children even if they do not have the condition themselves. Like other genetic conditions, although it is associated with a specific gene, a complex series of interactions can be involved and people may carry deleterious genes with a potential for causing blood disorders without being aware of it. Sometimes, these genes combine in unfortunate ways and cause unusually severe disorders.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.