<haematology> Disruption of the integrity of the red cell membrane causing release of haemoglobin.

Haemolysis may be caused by bacterial haemolysins, by antibodies that cause complement dependent lysis, by placing red cells in a hypotonic solution or by defects in the red cell membrane.

Origin: Gr. Lysis = dissolution

American spelling: hemolysis

(11 Mar 2008)