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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Hemoglobinopathies: Hemoglobin S Disorders. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Vascular Occlusion

Vascular occlusion in sickle cell disease may be a result of cellular interactions. Early sickle cells (reticulocytes that contain Hb SS) tend to be more "sticky" and adhere to endothelium. Abnormal receptors on these cells allow platelets to form a bridge between sickled RBCs and endothelial cells in post-capillary venules. Adding to this occlusive process are leukocytes that respond to tissue damage and inflammation. This will be discussed in more detail later in the course.