The lysis or the breaking open of red blood cell (erythrocyte) causing the release of hemoglobin into the surrounding fluid.


Hemolysis has several causes: examples are exposure of erythrocytes to toxins and poisons, bacterial haemolysins, immune reactions like specific complement-fixing antibodies, hypotonicity, alteration of temperature, treatments such as hemodialysis, etc.

Word origin: from the Greek hemo-, meaning blood + -lysis, meaning to break open.

Also spelled as: hemolysis.
Related forms: haemolytic (adjective).

Synonym: hematolysis.
See also: hemolysin.

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