Monozygotic twins with sickle cell anemia and discordant clinical courses: clinical and laboratory studies.Hemoglobin 1991; 15(4):247-56H
We describe a rare set of monozygotic twins with coexistent sickle cell anemia and alpha-/alpha alpha thalassemia who have asynchronous painful crises of different frequency and severity. Studies include measurements of cell deformability and other hemorheologic tests, cell density distribution, the percentage of irreversibly sickled cells, adherence of red cells to endothelial cells, membrane heme and membrane free iron, calcium containing internal vesicles and serum antioxidants. Results of these studies, including estimates of organ damage (bone, spleen, retina), were similar except for an increase in red cell membrane free iron in the patient with more frequent and severe painful crises. The study supports the concept that non-inherited factors are important contributors to the frequency and severity of painful crises in sickle cell anemia.