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RADIOLOGY: ABDOMEN: Case# 32825: AUTOSPLENECTOMY, COLONIC ISCHEMIA, UTERINE INFARCTS, & RENAL INFARCTS SECONDARY TO SICKLE CELL DISEASE. 28 year old female with sickle cell disease who presents with abdominal pain. The spleen is atrophied and calcified consistent with autosplenectomy. There are bilateral low attenuation areas around both kidneys which represents cortical infarction. The right colon is markedly thickened and edematous. Low attenuation areas are seen within the uterus. In sickle cell disease, the abnormal hemoglobin causes red blood cells (RBCs) to change in shape under lowered oxygen tensions. This sickling of RBCs leads to occlusion of small blood vessels. Sickling occurs in areas of slow flow (spleen, liver, renal medulla) and of rapid metabolism (brain, muscle, fetal placenta).

Peter Anderson
abdomen, radiology