Spherocytosis. Jaundiced eye of a 37-year-old man with hereditary spherocytosis. The jaundice is due to liver pigments (yellow) accumulating in the bloodstream. Hereditary spherocytosis is a genetic condition where red blood cells (erythrocytes) lose their characteristic biconcave shape and become spherical. The lifetime of the red blood cells is reduced, and they suffer haemolysis (the disruption of their membranes and the loss of haemoglobin). As well as jaundice, spherocytosis causes fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath. Treatment is by splenectomy (removal of the spleen), after which the life span of the red blood cells should become normal.
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