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Question about sickle cell anemia

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by fabiolablake, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. fabiolablake

    fabiolablake Incompetent
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    Does anyone know the source of pain from sickle cell anemia? I have found that patients with SCA have significantly higher concentrations of hemoglobin than normal individuals and this decreases the concentration of nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide is thought to play approximately 30% role in blood vessel diameter and in its absence, the sickle shaped RBCs get stuck in the smaller vessels resulting in ischemia and tissue necrosis. However, it doesn't seem that the acute pain would be a result in tissue necrosis. Does anybody have an explanation? I appreciate your help.

    Blake
     
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  3. Kalel

    Kalel Membership Revoked
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    the pain is associated with a vaso-occlusive event that occurs secondary to sickled, deformed RBC's blocking blood flow through the capillaries. It's a pain similar to if someone were to tie a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff around your arm for a long time, and then told you to exercise it. Acute tissue necrosis or ischemia can be very painful, it's why people with heart attacks get chest pain.
     
  4. fabiolablake

    fabiolablake Incompetent
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    Thanks for the explanation Kalel!
     

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