This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Hereditary spherocytosis is a condition characterized by hemolytic anemia (when red blood cells are destroyed earlier than normal). Signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include pale skin, fatigue, anemia, jaundice, gallstones, and/or enlargement of the spleen. Other symptoms of hemolytic anemia may include feeling that your heart is pounding or racing (palpitations), feeling dizzy, problems concentrating, and headaches. Some people with a severe form of hereditary spherocytosis may have short stature, delayed puberty, and skeletal abnormalities. The condition is caused by mutations in any of several genes, such as the ANK1, EPB42, SLC4A1, SPTA1, and SPTB genes. It is most commonly inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, but may be inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. There are different types of hereditary spherocytosis, which are distinguished by severity and genetic cause. Depending on severity, treatment may involve splenectomy, red cell transfusions, folic acid supplementation, and/or cholecystectomy.
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