Sickle cell anemia


  • Inherited condition affecting the red blood cells. Due to abnormal hemoglobin the red blood cells become sickle-shaped under conditions of hypoxia. They have decreased capacity to carry oxygen to the tissues.
  • The hematopoietic system responds with the proliferation of bone marrow, at the expense of the cancellous bone, in order to produce more red blood cells.
  • It affects mainly black populations. It occurs mostly in children and adolescents.
  • Radiographic changes:
    • Hair-on-end calvarium
    • widening of the diploic space
    • enlarged marrow spaces in all bones
    • generalized osteoporosis
    • enlargement of jaws
    • thinning of all cortical structures (such as the skull cortex)