sick'le cell" ane'mia
a chronic hereditary blood disease, occurring primarily among Africans or persons of African descent, in which abnormal hemoglobin causes red blood cells to become sickle-shaped and nonfunctional, characterized by enlarged spleen, chronic anemia, lethargy, weakness, joint pain, and blood clot formation. Also called sick•le•mi•a Pronunciation: (sik"u-lē'mē-u, sik-lē'-). [key]
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.