Pitted red cell counts in sickle cell disease

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Splenic reticuloendothelial function, as determined by pitted red cell counts in 114 pediatric patients with sickle cell disease, was evaluated. Patients with homozygous sickle cell disease (HbSS) had a mean pit count of 11.8 ± 7.0% and the count increased with age. Sickle cell hemoglobin C disease (HbSC) patients had a mean pit count of 4.9 ± 9.1%, the count being unaffected by age. One patient with HbS-(β° thalassemia had a count of 12%, while eight patients with HbS-β+thalassemia had a mean count of 0.4 ± 0.3%. There was one patient each with HbSS-α thalassemia, HbS-O Arab, and HbS-Lepore, and the pit counts were 4.9, 31.4, and 0.4%, respectively. In both HbSS and HbSC patients, the pit count was significantly lower in patients who had palpable spleens. The pit count may be used as a predictor of disease severity in the sickle cell disorders. © 1986 Raven Press, New York.

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