Abnormal red blood cell, illustration

Abnormal red blood cell, illustration

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Credit: HARVINDER SINGH/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Elliptocyte. Illustration of an abnormal red blood cell known as an elliptocyte or ovalocyte. Red blood cells with this appearance can occur in association with various blood disorders including hereditary elliptocytosis (where red blood cells have membrane defects), as well as in iron deficiency, thalassaemias (disorders of haemoglobin production), myelophthisic anaemia and megaloblastic anaemia. The deformed cells are destroyed prematurely, primarily in the spleen, resulting in anaemia.

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