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Serum Zinc and Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell anaemia is a chronic, commonly fatal hereditary haemolytic disease which is characterized by acute episodes of exacerbation of the disease.
Severe anaemia and often overwhelming infections are some of the clinical conditions responsible for early death and delayed sexual growth pattern in many of the patients.
The disease is usually complicated by growth retardation, chronic leg ulcerss, and multiple end-organ damage.
It is known that zinc is an important constituent of erythrocyte ,it plays a metallo-enzyme and biochemical function,and has been implicated as necessary,in enzyme functions,protein synthesis and nucleic acid metabolism .
It also plays a role in amino-acid metabolism particularly cysteine and methione. Deficiency of zinc has been assciated with vessicular dermatitis, alopecia and diarrhoea.
acrodermatitis entero-pathica is a condition caused by defective absorption of zinc from the gastro-intestinal tract.
since zinc is an important constituent of erythrocytes the chronic haemolysis in patients can lead to a zinc deficient state and could account for some of the clinical manifestations like chronic leg ulcers, and infarctive crisis.
zinc therapy has been documented to result in weigth gain,increased growth of pubic,facial and body hair and healing of leg ulcers in a few weeks.
Recent studies have demonstrated a potential beneficial effect of zinc on sickling process while in one uncontrolled study, zinc appears to have been effective in decresing symptoms and crises of sickle cell anaemia patients.