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Conjunctival sign in sickle cell anaemia: an in-vivo correlate of the extent of red cell heterogeneity.
  1. M S Roy,
  2. G P Rodgers,
  3. M J Podgor,
  4. C T Noguchi,
  5. A W Nienhuis and
  6. A N Schechter


    A consecutive series of 22 stable adult inpatients with sickle cell anaemia were examined for the presence and severity of spontaneous 'comma' signs of the conjunctiva. Fifteen patients had severe conjunctival signs (more than 10 commas in the worse eye). The presence of severe conjunctival signs was associated with a broader distribution of intraerythrocytic haemoglobin concentrations (p = 0.0005). The patient group with severe conjunctival signs was not found to be significantly different from the group without such signs for age, sex, haemoglobin value, reticulocyte count, alpha-globin gene number, percentage fetal haemoglobin, or the proportion of very dense cells (CHC greater than 37 g/dl). Thus the singular heterogeneity of the erythrocytes in sickle cell disease may be indicative of the factor(s) responsible for the diagnostic comma sign.

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