The mechanism of osmotic hemolysis of human red blood cells has been investigated after mild fixation in glutaraldehyde. A mass of precipitated hemoglobin (crown) is seen around a single membrane break which may be as large as 2µ in diameter. Ghosts with large holes are not seen and it is believed that membrane repair takes place.

Hemoglobin extrusion by this mechanism takes place only around the rim of the red cell. Both old and young red cells exhibit crown formation, but old cells require longer fixation than do young cells.

A correlation with previous work on mode of osmotic hemolysis of red cells is discussed.

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