Tissue Factor (TF) initiates thrombin generation, and whole blood TF (WBTF) is elevated in sickle cell disease (SCD). We sought to identify the presence of TF-positive monocytes in SCD and their relationship with the other coagulation markers including WBTF, microparticle-associated TF, thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complexes and D-dimer. Whether major SCD-related pathobiological processes, including haemolysis, inflammation and endothelial activation, contribute to the coagulation abnormalities was also studied. The cohort comprised children with SCD (18 HbSS, 12 HbSC, mean age 3.6 years). We demonstrated elevated levels of TF-positive monocytes in HbSS, which correlated with WBTF, TAT and D-Dimer (p=0.02 to p=0.0003). While TF-positive monocytes, WBTF, TAT and D-dimer correlated with several biomarkers of haemolysis, inflammation and endothelial activation in univariate analyses, in multiple regression models the haemolytic markers (reticulocytes and lactate dehydrogenase) contributed exclusively to the association with all four coagulant markers evaluated. The demonstration that haemolysis is the predominant operative pathology in the associated perturbations of coagulation in HbSS at a young age provides additional evidence for the early use of therapeutic agents, such as hydroxycarbamide to reduce the haemolytic component of this disease.
Sickle cell disease; tissue factor-positive monocytes; coagulation abnormalities; biomarkers of haemolysis; biomarkers of inflammation
Asthma is associated with increases in sickle cell disease (SCD)-related morbidity and mortality. A thorough evaluation for asthma in children with SCD is important and may involve methacholine challenge (MCh). In this report, we present a 14-year-old male with SCD who was admitted for an acute painful episode following MCh. Pain events after MCh have not been previously reported in children with SCD. The risk–benefit ratio should be strongly considered prior to performance of MCh in this patient population, and all possible complications, including an acute painful episode, should be openly discussed with the parents and pediatric patient.
methacholine challenge; sickle cell disease; pain; asthma
The pathogenesis of sickle cell disease (HbSS), which has numerous complications including stroke, involves inflammation resulting in alteration of plasma inflammatory protein concentration. We investigated HbSS children with abnormal cerebral blood flow detected by trans-cranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) who participated in multi-center stroke prevention (STOP) study, to determine if plasma inflammatory protein concentration is associated with the outcome of stroke in the STOP study. Thirty-nine plasma samples from HbSS participants with elevated TCD who had no stroke, HbSS-NS (n=13) or had stroke, HbSS-S (n=13), HbSS steady-state controls (n=7) and controls with normal hemoglobin, HbAA (n=6), were analyzed simultaneously for 27 circulating inflammatory proteins. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristics curve analysis of stroke on plasma inflammatory mediator concentration, adjusted for age and gender, demonstrated that interleukin-1β (IL-1β) was protective against stroke development (HbSS-NS = 19, 17–23, HbSS-S = 17, 16 – 19 pg/mL, median and 25th–75th percentile; Odds ratio = 0.59, C.I. = 0.36 – 0.96) and was a good predictor of stroke (area under curve = 0.852). This result demonstrates a strong association of systemic inflammation with stroke development in HbSS via moderately increased plasma IL-1β concentration, which is furthermore associated with a decreased likelihood of stroke in HbSS.
Sickle cell; Stroke; Interleukin-1β; Cytokine; Chemokine
Although individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) are at increased risk for stroke, the underlying pathophysiology is incompletely understood. Intracardiac shunting via a patent foramen ovale (PFO) is associated with cryptogenic stroke in individuals without SCD. Recent evidence suggests that PFOs are associated with stroke in children with SCD, although the role of PFOs in adults with stroke and SCD is unknown. Here, we report 2 young adults with SCD, stroke, and PFOs. The first patient had hemoglobin SC and presented with a transient ischemic attack and a subsequent ischemic stroke. There was no evidence of cerebral vascular disease on imaging studies and the PFO was closed. The second patient had hemoglobin SS and two acute ischemic strokes. She had cerebral vascular disease with moyamoya in addition to a peripheral deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Chronic transfusion therapy was recommended, and the DVT was managed with warfarin. The PFO was not closed, and the patients' neurologic symptoms were stabilized. We review the literature on PFOs and stroke in SCD. Our cases and the literature review illustrate the dire need for further research to evaluate PFO as a potential risk factor for stroke in adults with SCD.
To assess the impact of our transcranial doppler ultrasonography (TCD) program on the incidence of first stroke and the rate of transfusion for stroke prevention in children with sickle cell disease.
In this single-institution, retrospective study, we compared the incidence of stroke and of transfusion for stroke prevention in 475 patients followed in the 8-year period prior to instituting TCD screening to the rate in 530 children in the 8-year period afterwards.
The incidence of overt stroke in the pre-TCD period was 0.67 per 100 patient-years, compared with 0.06 per 100 patient-years in the post-TCD period (p<0.0001). Of the two strokes in the post-TCD period, one occurred in a child too young for the screening protocol and one in a child with high velocities solely in the anterior cerebral arteries. The rate of transfusion therapy for stroke prevention increased from 0.67 per 100 patient-years to 1.12 per 100 patient-years since instituting our program (p=0.008).
Our program has been successful in reducing the rate of first overt stroke, but with increased use of transfusion. Additional modifications to screening might further reduce the risk of first stroke, and studies of alternative treatments may be beneficial.
Sickle cell disease; stroke; Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography; blood transfusion; pediatric hematology
Blood transfusion therapy is life-saving for patients with β-thalassaemia and sickle cell disease (SCD), but often results in severe iron overload. This pilot study examined whether the biomarkers of tissue injury or inflammation differ in these two diseases. Plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) was significantly increased 1.8-fold in thalassaemia relative to control patients. In contrast, MDA in SCD was not significantly different from controls. In multivariate analysis, the strongest predictors of elevated MDA were liver iron concentration (P < 0.001) and specific diagnosis (P = 0.019). A significant 2-fold elevation of non-transferrin bound iron (NTBI) was observed in thalassaemia relative to SCD. NTBI was not a significant predictor of high MDA in multivariate analysis. SCD patients showed a significant 2.2-fold elevation of the inflammatory marker interleukin (IL)-6 relative to controls, and a 3.6- and 1.7-fold increase in IL-5 and IL-10 relative to thalassaemia. Although α-tocopherol was significantly decreased by at least 32% in both thalassaemia and SCD, indicating ongoing oxidant stress and antioxidant consumption, γ-tocopherol, a nitric oxide-selective antioxidant, was increased 36% in SCD relative to thalassaemia. These results demonstrate that thalassaemia patients have increased MDA and circulating NTBI relative to SCD patients and lower levels of some cytokines and γ-tocopherol. This supports the hypothesis that the biology of SCD may show increased inflammation and increased levels of protective antioxidants compared with thalassaemia.
iron overload; thalassaemia; sickle cell disease; oxidative stress; inflammation; cytokines; non-transferrin bound iron; malondialdehyde; lipid peroxidation; vitamin E
Hemolytic transfusion reactions (HTRs) can produce serious and potentially life-threatening complications in sickle cell disease (SCD) patients; however, the mechanisms underlying these complications remain undetermined. We established a model of alloimmune, IgG-mediated HTRs in a well-characterized humanized murine model of SCD. HTRs induced acute vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC), resulting in shortened survival of SCD mice. Acute VOC was associated with elevated circulating inflammatory chemokine levels, including striking elevation of the levels of the neutrophil chemoattractant CXCL1. Recombinant CXCL1 administration was sufficient to induce acute VOC in SCD mice, characterized by leukocyte recruitment in venules, capture of circulating red blood cells, reduction of venular flow, and shortened survival. In contrast, blockade of the CXCL1 receptor, CXCR2, prevented HTR-elicited acute VOC and prolonged survival in SCD mice. These results indicate that CXCL1 is a key inflammatory mediator of acute VOC in SCD mice. Targeted inhibition of CXCL1 and/or CXCR2 may therefore represent a new therapeutic approach for acute VOC in SCD patients.
To compare the relative rates and risk factors associated with stroke in adults vs. children with sickle cell disease (SCD) in the U.S. over the last decade.
We identified incident strokes in patients with SCD using ICD-9 codes for acute stroke and SCD and the California Patient Discharge Databases. We estimated SCD prevalence by using the incidence of SCD at birth with adjustment for early mortality from SCD.
We identified 255 acute strokes (70 primary hemorrhagic and 185 ischemic) among 69,586 hospitalizations for SCD-related complications from 1998–2007. The rate of stroke in children [<18 years old (310/100,000 person-years)] was similar to young adults [18 to 34 years old (360/100,000 person-years)], but much higher in middle-aged [35 to 64 years old (1160/100,000 person-years)] and elderly adults [≥65 years old (4700/100,000 person-years)]. Stroke was associated with hypertension in children and hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, atrial fibrillation, and renal disease in adults. Most acute strokes (75%) and in-hospital deaths from stroke (91%) occurred in adults.
Our results suggest that the rate of stroke in SCD peaks in older adults and is 3-fold higher than rates previously reported in African-Americans of similar age (35 to 64 years) without SCD. Stroke in SCD is associated with several known adult risk factors for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Studies for the primary and secondary prevention of stroke in adults with SCD are urgently needed.
Stroke; sickle cell disease; epidemiology; transfusion
This report describes a 10 year old African American woman with sickle cell anemia (HbSS) who developed headaches and seizures associated with hypertension during hospitalization for a pulmonary abscess. Hypertension developed following multiple transfusions associated with a relatively abnormally high hematocrit and headache. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was consistent with posterior leukoencephalopathy. Neurological symptoms, hypertension and high hematocrit resolved following erythrocytapheresis. An MRI one month after the episode was normal. Since reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS) has only been reported in HbSS during severe acute chest syndrome, this report documents that milder illness can be associated with RPLS in HbSS. This report highlights the subtle symptoms that may herald serious neurological events in high-risk patients. Examination of the pathophysiology of RPLS in the context of HbSS suggests that patient with HbSS and subtle neurological symptoms should be treated with high vigilance.
Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome; Seizure; Headache; Sickle Cell Anemia; Hypertension
Transport proteins, acute-phase reactant proteins (APRP), hematology, and anthropometry were studied in 34 sickle cell disease (SCD) children (20 boys, 14 girls) and 27 controls without growth deficits (13 boys, 14 girls) [corrected]. The age range was 1/2 to 16 1/2 years. Weight deficits (< 80%) by Waterlow's classification were observed in 41% of SCD boys and 25% of SCD girls, and height deficits (< 90%) were observed in 25% SCD boys and 25% girls. Mean white blood cell counts were significantly higher (P < .001) and hematocrit and hemoglobin (Hb) lower (P < .005) in SCD children than in controls. Although both groups had similar mean levels of albumin, transferrin, and APRP, SCD children had significantly lower mean levels of retinol-binding protein (RBP) (P < .001) and retinol-prealbumin (P < .001). Retinol-binding protein levels were abnormal in 18 (53%) SCD children and in only 23% controls (chi 2 = 14.06; P < 0.005); transferrin levels were abnormal in 20% of SCD children and in none of the controls. Children with SC and SF Hb phenotype had normal mean levels of RBP, whereas those with S beta thal and SS phenotype had levels below normal. Growth-retarded children by weight and height had reduced mean levels of RBP and prealbumin compared with growth-normal SCD children. The implication of primary protein-energy malnutrition on growth retardation in SCD children is under study.
Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is defined as fever, respiratory symptoms and a new pulmonary infiltrate in an individual with sickle cell disease (SCD). Nearly half of ACS episodes occur in SCD patients already hospitalized, potentially permitting pre-emptive therapy in high-risk patients. Simple transfusion of red blood cells may abort ACS if given to patients hospitalized for pain who develop fever and elevated levels of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2). In a feasibility study (PROACTIVE; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00951808), patients hospitalized for pain who developed fever and elevated sPLA2 were eligible for randomization to transfusion or observation; all others were enrolled in an observational arm. Of 237 enrolled, only 10 were randomized; one of the four to receive transfusion had delayed treatment. Of 233 subjects receiving standard care, 22 developed ACS. A threshold level of sPLA2 ≥ 48 ng/ml gave optimal sensitivity (73%), specificity (71%) and accuracy (71%), but a positive predictive value of only 24%. The predictive value of sPLA2 was improved in adults and patients with chest or back pain, lower haemoglobin concentration and higher white blood cell counts; and those receiving less than two-thirds maintenance fluids. The hurdles identified in PROACTIVE should facilitate design of a larger, definitive, phase 3 randomized controlled trial.
Acute chest syndrome; sPLA2; transfusion; vaso-occlusive episode; pulmonary fat embolism
Elevated Tricuspid Regurgitant Velocity (TRV) has been related to higher mortality in adults and to hemolysis, lower oxygen saturation during 6-minute walk test and acute chest syndrome (ACS) in children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Hydroxyurea (HU) has reduced TRV value in children and adults. We describe a three year old HbSS child with recurrent ACS, hypoperfusion of the left lung, mild hemolysis and persistent TRV elevation. TRV did not normalize after HU, despite improvement in clinical conditions and in baseline laboratory parameters related to hemolysis and blood viscosity, but normalized after bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Our experience suggests that in young patients, TRV reduction can be a positive concomitant effect of BMT.
sickle-cell disease; pulmonary hypertension; tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity; hydroxyurea, bone marrow transplantation.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in sickle cell disease (SCD) is an emerging and important clinical problem. In a single-institution adult cohort of 365 patients, we investigated lipid and lipoprotein levels and their relationship to markers of intravascular hemolysis, vascular dysfunction and PH. In agreement with prior studies, we confirm significantly decreased plasma levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) in SCD vs. ethnically-matched healthy controls. Several cholesterol parameters correlate significantly with markers of anemia, but not endothelial activation or PH. More importantly, serum triglyceride levels are significantly elevated in SCD compared to controls. Elevated triglyceride levels correlate significantly with markers of hemolysis (lactate dehydrogenase and arginase; both p<0.0005), endothelial activation (soluble E-selectin, p<0.0001; soluble P-selectin, p=0.02; soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, p=0.01), inflammation (leukocyte count, p=0.0004; erythrocyte sedimentation rate, p=0.02) and PH (amino-terminal brain natriuretic peptide, p=0.002; prevalence of elevated tricuspid regurgitant velocity (TRV), p<0.001). In a multivariate analysis, triglyceride levels correlate independently with elevated TRV (p=0.002). Finally, forearm blood flow studies in adult patients with SCD demonstrate a significant association between increased triglyceride/HDL-C ratio and endothelial dysfunction (p<0.05). These results characterize elevated plasma triglyceride levels as a potential risk factor for PH in SCD.
Several studies have shown that the pathophysiology of homozygous sickle cell anaemia (SCA) results in a myriad of metabolic, nutritional, haematological and clinical effects that interact with other co-morbid factors to determine the quality of life and life expectancy of afflicted patients. Because of its critical roles in nutrition and metabolism, inflammation, haematopoiesis and cellular immunity, this study determined the plasma levels of leptin in steady and unsteady states of HbSS in Nigerian patients.
A total of 51 SCA patients aged 5 - 35 years with 34 (61.8%) being females who were either on admission or visiting four medical centres in Lagos, Nigeria together with 22 non-SCD controls aged 5 -30 years comprising 12 (54.5%) females were enrolled after obtaining their informed consent and ethical approval. Patients were further stratified into steady and unsteady cases of SCA based on clinical presentations, while blood samples collected by venipuncture from each of the study participants were analyzed haematologically for full blood count and HbF level and microscopically for malaria, while plasma leptin was assayed using ELISA method. Body composition defined by weight, fat mass and body mass index (BMI) was determined using standard methods. Data obtained for cases and controls were analyzed statistically.
Twenty - one patients had unsteady HbSS and elicited greater and significant (P < 0.05) reduction in fat mass, BMI, HbF and eosinophil count but elevated mean total leukocyte, count, level of irreversibly sickled cells and P. falciparum parasitaemia (4613.7 vs. 749.6 - 1078.4 parasites/uL), pyrexia rate (58.3 vs. 25.8%) when compared with steady state patients or non-SCD controls. Compared to the control, significant decreases in plasma leptin before and after controlling for body fat that was worsened by crisis were observed among the SCD patients. Unlike the non-SCD controls, leptin correlated non-significantly (P > 0.05) with all body composition indices measured in the patients except for fat mass in unsteady cases. Multivariate regression analysis identified ESR and RC as independent predictor of low plasma leptin concentration in the SCA patients.
Base on these findings, we conclude that plasma level of leptin is further decreased in the unsteady state of HbSS, shows poor correlation with adiposity and malarial infection but has inflammation and poor reticulocyte response as independent predictors among Nigerian patients.
Leptin; Sickle Cell Anaemia; HbSS; Nigerian Patients
Epidemiological studies support a hypothesis that pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common complication of sickle cell disease (SCD) that is associated with a high risk of death and evolves as a complication of haemolytic anaemia. This fundamental hypothesis has been recently challenged and remains controversial. In order to further test this hypothesis in a large and independent cohort of SCD patients we obtained plasma samples from the Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease (CSSCD) for analysis of a biomarker, N-terminal-pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), which is elevated in the setting of pulmonary arterial and venous hypertension. A NT-pro-BNP value previously identified to predict PH in adults with SCD was used to determine the association between the risk of mortality in 758 CSSCD participants (428 children and 330 adults). An abnormally high NT-proBNP level ≥160 ng/l was present in 27.6 % of adult SCD patients. High levels were associated with markers of haemolytic anaemia, such as low haemoglobin level (P<0.001), high lactate dehydrogenase (P<0.001), and high total bilirubin levels (P<0.007). A NT-proBNP level ≥160 ng/l was an independent predictor of mortality (RR 6.24, 95% CI 2.9–13.3, P<0.0001). These findings provide further support for an association between haemolytic anaemia and cardiovascular complications in this patient population.
Sickle cell disease; pulmonary hypertension; brain natriuretic peptide; biomarkers; survival
Alloimmunization to minor red blood cell (RBC) antigens occurs commonly in sickle cell disease (SCD). Patients with alloimmunization demonstrate increased risk for new alloantibody formation with subsequent transfusion. Alloimmunization to human leukocyte antigens (HLA) can occur with RBC transfusion and may result in graft rejection during stem cell or organ transplantation. The prevalence and risk factors for HLA alloimmunization in multiply transfused pediatric SCD patients are unknown.
A cross-sectional study of HLA alloimmunization in SCD patients aged 3–21 years with a history of ≥3 RBC transfusions was performed to test the hypothesis that HLA alloimmunization is associated with RBC alloimmunization. Antibodies to class I and class II HLA were measured by Flow Panel Reactive Antibody (FlowPRA®).
Seventy-three SCD patients (30 with RBC antibodies) were tested. HLA antibodies were detected in 25/73 (34%) patients; class I HLA antibodies occurred in 24/73 (33%) and class II HLA antibodies occurred in 3 (4%). Among patients with RBC antibodies, 16/30 (53%) had HLA antibodies, while 9/43 (21%) patients without RBC antibodies had HLA antibodies (OR 4.32 [1.6–12.1]). In a multivariate analysis, antibodies to RBC antigens were an independent predictor of HLA alloimmunization (P =0.041). The association of RBC and HLA immunization was strongest among patients with no history of chronic transfusion therapy.
This analysis is the first description of HLA alloimmunization in pediatric SCD patients who receive primarily leukoreduced RBC transfusions and demonstrates that HLA alloimmunization tendency is associated with antibodies to RBC antigens.
alloimmunization; human leukocyte antigen (HLA); sickle cell disease; transfusion
The goal of the present work was to identify the candidate genetic markers predictive of alloimmunization in sickle cell disease (SCD). Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is indicated for acute treatment, prevention, and abrogation of some complications of SCD. A well-known consequence of multiple RBC transfusions is alloimmunization. Given that a subset of SCD patients develop multiple RBC allo-/autoantibodies, while others do not in a similar multiple transfusional setting, we investigated a possible genetic basis for alloimmunization. Biomarker(s) which predicts (predict) susceptibility to alloimmunization could identify patients at risk before the onset of a transfusion program and thus may have important implications for clinical management. In addition, such markers could shed light on the mechanism(s) underlying alloimmunization. We genotyped 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CD81, CHRNA10, and ARHG genes in two groups of SCD patients. One group (35) of patients developed alloantibodies, and another (40) had no alloantibodies despite having received multiple transfusions. Two SNPs in the CD81 gene, that encodes molecule involved in the signal modulation of B lymphocytes, show a strong association with alloimmunization. If confirmed in prospective studies with larger cohorts, the two SNPs identified in this retrospective study could serve as predictive biomarkers for alloimmunization.
Web-based tools to improve clinic attendance have been effectively used in pediatric conditions but have not been tested in pediatric sickle cell disease (SCD). The goal of this pilot study was to assess barriers to clinic attendance and the feasibility of a web-based assessment tool to promote problem-solving around clinic appointments. Study participants included 30 youth with SCD (M=11.7±3.5 years; 57% male; 60% HbSS; 20% HbSC; 17% HB+Thal) and their primary caregivers. Medical chart review indicated that 61% of participants attended at least two SCD clinic appointments in the past year. The primary barrier to clinic attendance was inability to take off from work/school (33%). Regarding feasibility and acceptability, the computerized program was well-received by patients and caregivers, with youth and caregivers reporting a high degree of usefulness and preference for computerized assessment. Results suggest that this innovative approach shows promise and should be tested on a larger sample of youth with SCD.
innovation; compliance; disease management; technology; pediatric
Albuminuria is a marker of glomerular damage in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). In this study, we sought to determine the possible predictors of albuminuria in the two more prevalent genotypes of SCD among the Jamaica Sickle Cell Cohort Study participants.
An age-matched cohort of 122 patients with HbSS or HbSC genotypes had measurements of their morning urine albumin concentration, blood pressure, body mass index, haematology and certain biochemistry parameters done. Associations of albuminuria with possible predictors including hematological parameters, reticulocyte counts, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels were examined using multiple regression models.
A total of 122 participants were recruited (mean age 28.6 years ±2.5 years; 85 HbSS, 37 HbSC). 25.9% with HbSS and 10.8% with HbSC disease had microalbuminuria (urine albumin/creatinine ratio = 30–300 mg/g of creatinine) whereas 16.5% of HbSS and 2.7% of HbSC disease had macroalbuminuria (urine albumin/creatinine ratio>300 mg/g of creatinine). Mean arterial pressure, hemoglobin levels, serum creatinine, reticulocyte counts and white blood cell counts were statistically significant predictors of albuminuria in HbSS, whereas white blood cell counts and serum creatinine predicted albuminuria in HbSC disease. Both markers of chronic hemolysis, i.e. AST and LDH levels, showed no associations with albuminuria in either genotype.
Renal disease, as evidenced by excretion of increased amounts of albumin in urine due to a glomerulopathy, is a common end-organ complication in SCD. It is shown to be more severe in those with HbSS disease than in HbSC disease. Rising blood pressure, lower hemoglobin levels and higher white blood cell counts are hints to the clinician of impending renal disease, whereas higher rates of hemolysis do not appear to play a role in this complication of SCD.
Intrahepatic cholestasis (SCIC) is an uncommon but potentially fatal complication of sickle cell disease (SCD), with a high death rate, observed mainly in patients with homozygous sickle cell anemia. Herein, we describe a case of severe SCIC treated successfully with aggressive manual exchange transfusion (ET). The patient was admitted with enlarged liver and signs of hepatic failure, such as hyperbilirubinemia and coagulopathy. There was no evidence of viral hepatitis or biliary obstruction. We performed several sessions of ET in order to reduce the percentage of HbS to levels inferior to 30%, which was successfully accomplished. The patient had a complete recovery of hepatic function. This case has shown that ET is an effective treatment of SCIC and should be introduced early on the onset of this severe complication.
Self-care management is an important part of living with a chronic illness. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic disease with acute, painful exacerbations that often results in a shortened life expectancy. Some middle-aged and older adults with SCD lived with the disease prior to having a diagnosis and without modern advances. The purpose of this study is to share the self-care recommendations of middle-aged and older adults with SCD. Using descriptive qualitative methods, data were gathered through semistructured interviews from 11 individuals living with SCD, including 6 women and 5 men. Self-care recommendations themes included physiological, psychological, and provider-related. The self-care recommendations may be seen as an additional resource or “words of wisdom” for younger adults with SCD who can use the recommendations to better manage their own disease. Additionally, providers may be able to use these recommendations to inform their practice.
A doctor diagnosis of asthma is associated with increased morbidity (pain and acute chest syndrome, ACS) among children with sickle cell disease (SCD). An association between IgE levels and asthma and morbidity has not been investigated in children with SCD.
We tested the hypothesis that elevated total and allergen-specific IgE levels are associated with asthma and SCD morbidity in children with SCD.
A cross-sectional study of children with SCD who participated in the Silent Cerebral Infarct Trial was conducted. Logistic regression and negative binomial regression were used to investigate potential associations of total and allergen-specific IgE levels with asthma diagnosis and SCD morbidity, both confirmed by medical record review. Elevation of total IgE was defined as age- and sex-adjusted IgE exceeding 90th percentile compared to a non-atopic reference population. IgE antibody positivity to Altermaria alternata (mold), Blatella germanica (cockroach), and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (dust mite) was assessed by ImmunoCAP analysis.
Children with SCD (140 asthmatics, 381 non-asthmatics) were evaluated. Elevations in total IgE (p = 0.04) and IgE antibody specific for Altermaria alternata (p = 0.0003), Blatella germanica (p = 0.008), and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (p = 0.01) were associated with asthma. ACS (p = 0.048) but not pain (p = 0.20) was associated with total IgE, but neither were associated with specific IgE levels.
Significantly increased levels of total and allergen-specific IgE levels are associated with asthma in SCD. High IgE levels are a risk factor for ACS and not pain rates.
Total IgE; allergen-specific IgE; asthma risk indicator; acute chest syndrome; pain; sickle cell disease; hemoglobinopathies
Biomarkers of stroke are an evolving field of clinical research. A serum marker which can differentiate between haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke in the very early phase would help to optimise acute stroke management.
To examine whether serum glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) identifies intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) in acute stroke patients.
A pilot study assessing 135 stroke patients admitted within six hours after symptom onset. Diagnosis of ICH (n = 42) or ischaemic stroke (n = 93) was based on brain imaging. GFAP was determined from venous blood samples obtained immediately after admission, using a research immunoassay.
GFAP was detectable in the serum of 39 patients (34 of 42 (81%) with ICH, and five of 93 (5%) with ischaemic stroke). Serum GFAP was substantially raised in patients with ICH (median 11 ng/l, range 0 to 3096 ng/l) compared with patients with ischaemic stroke (median 0 ng/l, range 0 to 14 ng/l, p<0.001). Using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis , a cut off point of 2.9 ng/l provided a sensitivity of 0.79 and a specificity of 0.98 for the identification of ICH in acute stroke (positive predictive value 0.94, negative predictive value 0.91; p<0.001).
Serum GFAP can reliably detect ICH in the acute phase of stroke. Further evaluation of the usefulness of GFAP as an early diagnostic marker of ICH is now required, with the aim of optimising cause specific emergency management.
biological marker; intracerebral haemorrhage; cerebral ischaemia; acute management
The objective of this study was to determine the frequency and pattern of pulmonary manifestations in febrile patients with sickle-cell disease (SCD), a condition prevalent in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
The main pulmonary complications in febrile adult SCD patients were studied between January 1986 and December 1990.
Material and Methods:
The medical records, chest X-rays and microbiological data of all febrile (temperature >38°C) SCD patients >12 years of age admitted to KFHU during the study period were retrospectively reviewed.
Of the 164 patient-episodes in 49 male and 19 female SCD patients, chest X-rays were abnormal in 33 (20.1%) episodes. Of these 33, there was consolidation in 17 (52%), pleural effusion in 6 (18%), pleural effusion and consolidation in 4 (12%), consolidation with collapse in 3 (9%), pleural thickening in 2 (6%) and bronchogenic carcinoma in one.
Pneumonia was the most common complication in Saudi SCD patients with abnormal chest X-rays. Chest X-rays are most useful in SCD patients with symptoms of chest infection, abnormal chest signs, or those with persistent fever during vaso-occlusive crisis.
Chest X-ray; sickle cell disease; pulmonary manifestations
The chronic hemolytic anemia experienced by sickle cell disease (SCD) patients leads to adverse effects on oxygen transport by the blood and to a decrease in oxygen availability for peripheral tissues. Limited tissue oxygen availability has the potential to modify events of intracellular metabolism and, thus, alter lipid homeostasis.
The impact of SCD on plasma fatty acid homeostasis was determined in 8 African American SCD patients and in 6 healthy African American control subjects under postabsorptive conditions and during a 3-hour IV infusion of a nutrient solution containing lipid, glucose, and amino acids.
SCD patients had higher fasting levels of plasma nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), triglycerides, and phospholipids than healthy controls. Similarly, SCD patients had higher fasting levels of fatty acids in plasma triglycerides and phospholipids than healthy controls. Infusion of nutrients resulted in equivalent plasma NEFA profiles, total NEFA, and triglycerides in SCD patients and controls. However, the plasma phospholipid concentrations and fatty acid composition of plasma triglycerides and phospholipids were significantly higher in SCD patients; in particular, plasma pools of oleic acid were consistently increased in SCD. Plasma free oleic acid levels were elevated basally, leading to increased oleic acid content in triglycerides and phospholipids both postabsorptively and during nutrient infusion.
There is an underlying defect in lipid metabolism associated with SCD best manifested during the fasting state. This abnormality in lipid homeostasis has the potential to alter red blood cell (RBC) membrane fluidity and function in SCD patients.