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Hereditary ovalocytosis


Definition:

Hereditary ovalocytosis is a rare condition passed down through families (inherited). The blood cells are oval-shaped instead of round. It is a form of hereditary elliptocytosis.

Alternative Names:

Ovalocytosis - hereditary

Causes:

Ovalocytosis is mainly found in Southeast Asian populations.

Symptoms:

Newborn infants with ovalocytosis may have anemia and jaundice. Adults usually do not show symptoms and are known as asymptomatic.

Exams and Tests:

An examination by your health care provider may show an enlarged spleen.

This condition is diagnosed by looking at the shape of blood cells under a microscope. The following tests may also be done:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) to check for anemia or red blood cell destruction
  • Blood smear to determine cell shape
  • Bilirubin level (may be high)
  • Lactate dehydrogenase level (may be high)
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen (may show gallstones)
Treatment:

In severe cases, the disease may be treated by removal of the spleen (splenectomy).

Possible Complications:

The condition may be associated with gallstones or kidney problems.

References:

Golan DE. Hemolytic anemias: red cell membrane and metabolic defects. In: Goldman L,Ausiello D, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 165.


Review Date: 2/24/2014
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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