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xerocytes

[xerocyte]

Xerocytes are abnormal erythrocytes (see also: discocytes) found in hereditary xerocytosis, an autosomal dominant genetic disease that is a rare cause of hemolytic anemia. These cells have defects in membrane permeability, dehydrate, becoming rigid, and are sensitive to metabolic stress and oxidation (Joiner et al, 1986; Glader et al, 1974). Some histologists refer to such cells also as dessicocytes.

Xerocytes are more sensitive than normal erythrocytes to shear stress (Platt et al, 1981). Microscopically, these cells appear larger than normal (see also: macrocytes) despite their stiffness, but this is considered to be an artifact caused by their stiffness (Glader et al, 1974; Sauberman et al, 1981).

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