Hereditary elliptocytosis (patient information)
(Hereditary elliptocytosis) On the Web
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Hereditary elliptocytosis is a disorder passed down through families in which the red blood cells are abnormally shaped.
What are the symptoms of Hereditary elliptocytosis?
- Shortness of breath
- Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice): may persist for a long time in a newborn
What causes Hereditary elliptocytosis?
- Elliptocytosis affects about 1 in every 2,500 people of northern European heritage.
- It is more common in people of African and Mediterranean descent.
Who is at highest risk?
You are more likely to develop this condition if someone in your family has had it.
When to seek urgent medical care?
- An examination by your health care provider may occasionally show an enlarged spleen.
- The following tests may help diagnose the condition:
- 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.
Where to find medical care for Hereditary elliptocytosis?
Genetic counseling may be appropriate for persons with a family history of this disease who wish to become parents.
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
Most persons with hereditary elliptocytosis have no problems, and are unaware of their condition.
- Elliptocytosis is frequently harmless.
- In mild cases, fewer than 15% of red blood cells are elliptical-shaped.
- 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.