Medical Definition of Hemolytic

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hemolytic: Referring to hemolysis, the destruction of red blood cells which leads to the release of hemoglobin from within the red blood cells into the blood plasma.

Hemolytic anemia, for example, is anemia ("low blood") due to the destruction (rather than the underproduction) of red blood cells.

Etymology: The word "hemolytic" is made up of "hemo-", blood + "lytic", the disintegration of cells.

Picture of Red Blood Cells

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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