A disease of the blood characterized by the production of red blood cells (erythrocytes), that are sphere-shaped, rather than donut-shaped. It is caused by a molecular defect in one or more of the proteins of the red blood cell cytoskeleton. Because the cell skeleton has a defect, the blood cell contracts to its most surface-tension efficient and least flexible configuration, a sphere, rather than the more flexible donut-shape. The sphere-shaped red blood cells are known as spherocytes.
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