Blood/Blood Cells and Cellular Components ›› Red Blood Cells ›› Abnormal

Sickle Cell*

Microscopic Features:
  • About the same size as a normal RBC
  • Banana-shpaed RBC with two pointed ends
  • Usually forming the shape of a crescent or banana
  • Dense hemoglobin (dark red to light purple)
  • No central pallor
Normal % blood-PB, marrow-BM, lymphoid tissue-LN:
  • PB: None
  • BM: None
  • LN: None
May Resemble:
  • Schistocyte
  • Ovalocyte (elliptocyte)
  • Hemoglobin C crystals
  • Malaria organisms (gametes outside of RBCs)
Differential Diagnoses:

Hemoglobin SS disease
Hemoglobin SC disease
Hemoglobin SD disease
S-beta thalassemia

Classic Immunophenotype:
  • N/A
Cartoon Image:

  • An underlying mutation in the hemoglobin Beta chain (The hydrophilic residue Glutamate is replaced with the hydrophobic residue Valine) which leads to aggregation of the hemoglobin molecules which ultimately twists the RBC into a sickled shape