Sickle Cell Trait

Also known as: SCT.

What is sickle cell trait?

Sickle cell trait (SCT) is not a disease, but having it means that a person is a carrier that has inherited the sickle cell gene from one of the parents. People with sickle cell trait usually do not have any of the symptoms of sickle cell disease and live a normal life.

What causes sickle cell trait?

Sickle cell trait occurs when one parent passes along the gene for sickle cell disease to a fetus, and the other parents passes along a normal gene. A person with sickle cell trait has a 50% chance of passing the abnormal gene to each child they have.

What are the symptoms of sickle cell trait?

In most cases, people with sickle cell trait have no symptoms. However, in very rare cases people with sickle cell trait can have blood in the urine, high blood pressure, and may have problems with high altitudes, low oxygen levels, increased pressure (such as when scuba diving) or dehydration.

What are sickle cell trait care options?

Annual physical exam, with blood and urine testing is recommended. Treatments typically involve preventing potential complications and treating them as they arise. SCT is a condition not a disease to search for a cure.


Reviewed by: Athena Pefkarou, MD

This page was last updated on: September 30, 2020 05:33 PM

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Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is a group of familial red blood cell disorders. Sickle cell disease causes the red blood cells to be oddly shaped, and have difficulty flowing through the blood vessels properly which causes them to break up easily resulting in anemia and damage to the organs. Learn more