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Thalassaemia, X-ray

Thalassaemia, X-ray

M270/0219

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Credit

CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Thalassaemia. Coloured chest X-ray of a patient with thalassaemia, also known as Cooley's anaemia. The ribs have grown abnormally as the bone marrow expands to produce more blood cells, which has resulted in a deformed ribcage. This inherited disorder results from an abnormality in the protein part of the haemoglobin molecule of red blood cells (erythrocytes). The patients erythrocytes are therefore fragile, rapidly haemolysing (breaking up) as they move through the body. Other symptoms of this disease include anaemia, fatigue and jaundice. Treatment with blood transfusions is common, but this disease is usually fatal.

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