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Sickle Cell Disease (Clinical)

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (Hb S) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle cell trait, which is the heterozygous condition, is the only 1 of the group that is generally benign and rarely associated with serious SCD-like complications. Triggers such as stress and hypoxia can induce or worsen the sickling of RBCs. Individuals with SCD are susceptible to infection, infarction of various organs, and bone marrow aplasia; lung involvement in acute chest syndrome can be rapidly fatal. Sickle cells can usually be seen on the peripheral blood smear, but Hb electrophoresis is needed for diagnosis. The management of painful episodes consists of IV fluids and analgesics, and in severe episodes, exchange transfusions may be required. Survival is improved by hydroxyurea intake, vaccination against bacterial infections, prophylactic antibiotics, and aggressive treatment of infections. Although trials are still ongoing and the long-term effects are still unclear, promising results from early trials show the potential for gene therapy as a treatment option.

Last updated: Mar 4, 2024

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease ( SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease) is a group of genetic disorders that cause an abnormal Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange molecule ( Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S) that transforms RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, vasoocclusive episodes, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, and organ damage.

Epidemiology[2]

  • Most common form of intrinsic hemolytic anemia Intrinsic Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic Anemia worldwide
  • Occurs in individuals whose ancestors came from sub-Saharan Africa, India, Saudi Arabia, or Mediterranean countries
  • Prevalence Prevalence The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from incidence, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency of sickle cell trait sickle cell trait The condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin S. Sickle Cell Disease (heterozygous benign Benign Fibroadenoma carrier Carrier Vaccination):
    • 300 million people worldwide
    • 2.5 million people in the United States
  • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency of sickle cell trait sickle cell trait The condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin S. Sickle Cell Disease:
    • 30% of individuals in sub-Saharan Africa 
    • 7.3% of African Americans
  • Equally present in men and women

Etiology[10]

  • Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease is any syndrome with a sickle mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations that alters normal beta globin:
  • Homozygous genotype Genotype The genetic constitution of the individual, comprising the alleles present at each genetic locus. Basic Terms of Genetics = HbSS HbSS Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease; causes sickle cell anemia Sickle cell anemia A disease characterized by chronic hemolytic anemia, episodic painful crises, and pathologic involvement of many organs. It is the clinical expression of homozygosity for hemoglobin S. Sickle Cell Disease
  • Heterozygous condition = HbSA HbSA The condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin s. Sickle Cell Disease; benign Benign Fibroadenoma carrier Carrier Vaccination condition called “ sickle cell trait sickle cell trait The condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin S. Sickle Cell Disease”:
    • Only 1 allele Allele Variant forms of the same gene, occupying the same locus on homologous chromosomes, and governing the variants in production of the same gene product. Basic Terms of Genetics has the Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations.
    • Important for counseling about risk of having a child with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease 
  • Hemoglobinopathies Hemoglobinopathies A group of inherited disorders characterized by structural alterations within the hemoglobin molecule. Anemia: Overview and Types with another globin gene mutation Gene Mutation Myotonic Dystrophies:[6]
    • Occur as compound heterozygotes with Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S from 1 parent
    • Variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables clinical severity as compared with homozygous sickle mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations ( HbSS HbSS Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease)
    • Affect the alpha-, beta-, or gamma-globin genes Genes A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. DNA Types and Structure:
      • Sickle-beta thalassemia Sickle-Beta Thalassemia Sickle Cell Disease: less severe if Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S compounded with beta-plus thalassemia Thalassemia Thalassemia is a hereditary cause of microcytic hypochromic anemia and results from a deficiency in either the α or β globin chains, resulting in hemoglobinopathy. The presentation of thalassemia depends on the number of defective chains present and can range from being asymptomatic to rendering the more severely affected patients to be transfusion dependent. Thalassemia (some beta globin is produced) than with beta-zero thalassemia Thalassemia Thalassemia is a hereditary cause of microcytic hypochromic anemia and results from a deficiency in either the α or β globin chains, resulting in hemoglobinopathy. The presentation of thalassemia depends on the number of defective chains present and can range from being asymptomatic to rendering the more severely affected patients to be transfusion dependent. Thalassemia (no beta globin is produced)
      • HbSC disease HbSC disease A disease characterized by chronic hemolytic anemia, episodic painful crises, and pathologic involvement of many organs. It is the clinical expression of homozygosity for hemoglobin s. Sickle Cell Disease: symptoms similar to SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease but less severe
Sickle cell disease

Autosomal recessive inheritance of sickle cell disease and trait

Image by Lecturio.

Pathophysiology

Normal adult hemoglobin molecule (HbA1) consists of 2 pairs of chains called alpha and beta.[10] 

  • Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S is produced by a point mutation Point Mutation A mutation caused by the substitution of one nucleotide for another. This results in the DNA molecule having a change in a single base pair. Types of Mutations on chromosome Chromosome In a prokaryotic cell or in the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell, a structure consisting of or containing DNA which carries the genetic information essential to the cell. Basic Terms of Genetics 11, causing substitution of valine ( amino acid Amino acid Amino acids (AAs) are composed of a central carbon atom attached to a carboxyl group, an amino group, a hydrogen atom, and a side chain (R group). Basics of Amino Acids) for glutamic acid Glutamic acid A non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the l-form. Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Urea Cycle at the 6th position in the beta-globin chain.
  • Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S is prone to polymerization with other Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange molecules under conditions of low oxygen tension.
  • Polymerization alone does not account for the pathophysiology but leads to:
    • A rigid cell structure that distorts the membrane of the RBC 
    • Membrane damage Membrane Damage Cell Injury and Death →  influx of calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes, efflux of potassium Potassium An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol k, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39. 10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the water-electrolyte balance. Hyperkalemia and water → dehydrates the RBC → sickling Sickling Sickle Cell Disease
    • Vasoocclusion (microvascular occlusion): multiple pathophysiologic mechanisms, only partially related to the number of irreversibly sickled cells; other factors include:
      • The tendency of sickled RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology to adhere to and activate vascular endothelium Endothelium A layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels (vascular endothelium), lymph vessels (lymphatic endothelium), and the serous cavities of the body. Arteries: Histology, which exposes subendothelial Subendothelial Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis matrix proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis (e.g., laminin Laminin Large, noncollagenous glycoprotein with antigenic properties. It is localized in the basement membrane lamina lucida and functions to bind epithelial cells to the basement membrane. Evidence suggests that the protein plays a role in tumor invasion. Connective Tissue: Histology, thrombospondin on platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology, and von Willebrand factor von Willebrand factor A high-molecular-weight plasma protein, produced by endothelial cells and megakaryocytes, that is part of the factor VIII/von Willebrand factor complex. The von Willebrand factor has receptors for collagen, platelets, and ristocetin activity as well as the immunologically distinct antigenic determinants. It functions in adhesion of platelets to collagen and hemostatic plug formation. The prolonged bleeding time in von Willebrand diseases is due to the deficiency of this factor. Hemostasis) that also adhere to sickle cells
      • Activation of macrophage tissue factor: can activate endothelial cells and platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology, as well as initiate coagulation
      • Inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation, with leukocyte adhesion Leukocyte adhesion Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency Type 1 to endothelium Endothelium A layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels (vascular endothelium), lymph vessels (lymphatic endothelium), and the serous cavities of the body. Arteries: Histology and reduction of blood flow velocity Flow velocity Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure → increases RBC sickling Sickling Sickle Cell Disease
      • Reduction of nitric acid because it becomes bound to free hemoglobin from lysed cells → vascular smooth muscle cell contraction and platelet aggregation Platelet aggregation The attachment of platelets to one another. This clumping together can be induced by a number of agents (e.g., thrombin; collagen) and is part of the mechanism leading to the formation of a thrombus. Hemostasis
      • Hemolysis itself is a major proinflammatory driver which can elevate levels of thrombospondin and von Willebrand factor von Willebrand factor A high-molecular-weight plasma protein, produced by endothelial cells and megakaryocytes, that is part of the factor VIII/von Willebrand factor complex. The von Willebrand factor has receptors for collagen, platelets, and ristocetin activity as well as the immunologically distinct antigenic determinants. It functions in adhesion of platelets to collagen and hemostatic plug formation. The prolonged bleeding time in von Willebrand diseases is due to the deficiency of this factor. Hemostasis, which promote adhesion Adhesion The process whereby platelets adhere to something other than platelets, e.g., collagen; basement membrane; microfibrils; or other ‘foreign’ surfaces. Coagulation Studies of RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology to the endothelium Endothelium A layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels (vascular endothelium), lymph vessels (lymphatic endothelium), and the serous cavities of the body. Arteries: Histology
      • Initiation of a positive (“vicious”) cycle of ischemic tissue damage promoting more vasoocclusion due to the production of reactive oxygen species Reactive oxygen species Molecules or ions formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. These reactive oxygen intermediates include singlet oxygen; superoxides; peroxides; hydroxyl radical; and hypochlorous acid. They contribute to the microbicidal activity of phagocytes, regulation of signal transduction and gene expression, and the oxidative damage to nucleic acids; proteins; and lipids. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease causing inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation and more platelet activation Platelet activation A series of progressive, overlapping events, triggered by exposure of the platelets to subendothelial tissue. These events include shape change, adhesiveness, aggregation, and release reactions. When carried through to completion, these events lead to the formation of a stable hemostatic plug. Hemostasis, leukocyte recruitment Recruitment Skeletal Muscle Contraction, and endothelial activation Endothelial Activation Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF).
    • A shortened half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of the HbS-containing RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology to 17 days (normally 120 days)
  • Sickling Sickling Sickle Cell Disease is aggravated by conditions of low oxygen tension, including:
    • Infection
    • Dehydration Dehydration The condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism. Volume Depletion and Dehydration
    • Hypoxia Hypoxia Sub-optimal oxygen levels in the ambient air of living organisms. Ischemic Cell Damage (e.g., high altitudes, pulmonary disorders, airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction)
    • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever
    • Acidosis Acidosis A pathologic condition of acid accumulation or depletion of base in the body. The two main types are respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis, due to metabolic acid build up. Respiratory Acidosis
Sickle cell

Abnormal hemoglobin results in RBC sickling and adhesion of the sickled cells to endothelium, which is activated by the adherent RBCs. Occlusion of small vessels occurs by an aggregate of sickled RBCs, with platelets and white blood cells (not shown in figure). However, vasoocclusion (microvascular occlusion) is caused by multiple pathophysiologic mechanisms, not only by blockage due to sickled cells.

Image: “Sickle cell 01” by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). License: Public Domain

Clinical Presentation

Most symptoms result from the anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types and vasoocclusive events seen in individuals with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease or complications including infection.

Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease ( HbSS HbSS Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease)[1]

  • Infants with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease are generally healthy at birth. Symptoms develop after about age 6 months, when HbF levels start to diminish (protective in neonates) 
  • Major acute manifestations:
    • Vasoocclusive events: present suddenly with severe pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and infarction of the affected tissue
    • Infection (see complications below for more details):[11]
      • Sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock
      • Pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia
      • Meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis
    • Anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
      • Transient aplastic episode: worsening of anemic symptoms plus purpura, petechiae Petechiae Primary Skin Lesions, and mucosal bleeding Mucosal bleeding Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome
      • Can be brought on by infection with human parvovirus B19 Parvovirus B19 Primate erythroparvovirus 1 (generally referred to as parvovirus B19, B19 virus, or sometimes erythrovirus B19) ranks among the smallest DNA viruses. Parvovirus B19 is of the family Parvoviridae and genus Erythrovirus. In immunocompetent humans, parvovirus B19 classically results in erythema infectiosum (5th disease) or “slapped cheek syndrome.” Parvovirus B19 → transient slowing of bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis erythropoiesis Erythropoiesis The production of red blood cells (erythrocytes). In humans, erythrocytes are produced by the yolk sac in the first trimester; by the liver in the second trimester; by the bone marrow in the third trimester and after birth. In normal individuals, the erythrocyte count in the peripheral blood remains relatively constant implying a balance between the rate of erythrocyte production and rate of destruction. Erythrocytes: Histology (leading to aplastic anemia Aplastic Anemia Aplastic anemia (AA) is a rare, life-threatening condition characterized by pancytopenia and hypocellularity of the bone marrow (in the absence of any abnormal cells) reflecting damage to hematopoietic stem cells. Aplastic anemia can be acquired or inherited, however, most cases of AA are acquired and caused by autoimmune damage to hematopoietic stem cells. Aplastic Anemia)
      • Acute anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types also occurs in acute chest syndrome, splenic/hepatic sequestration (see below).
    • CNS: ischemic stroke Ischemic Stroke An ischemic stroke (also known as cerebrovascular accident) is an acute neurologic injury that occurs as a result of brain ischemia; this condition may be due to cerebral blood vessel occlusion by thrombosis or embolism, or rarely due to systemic hypoperfusion. Ischemic Stroke or TIA TIA Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a temporary episode of neurologic dysfunction caused by ischemia without infarction that resolves completely when blood supply is restored. Transient ischemic attack is a neurologic emergency that warrants urgent medical attention. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)[12,13,15,16]
    • Lung:
      • Pulmonary embolism Pulmonary Embolism Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a potentially fatal condition that occurs as a result of intraluminal obstruction of the main pulmonary artery or its branches. The causative factors include thrombi, air, amniotic fluid, and fat. In PE, gas exchange is impaired due to the decreased return of deoxygenated blood to the lungs. Pulmonary Embolism or microemboli (eventually leading to pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary hypertension (PH) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure, which can lead to chronic progressive right heart failure. Pulmonary hypertension is grouped into 5 categories based on etiology, which include primary PAH, and PH due to cardiac disease, lung or hypoxic disease, chronic thromboembolic disease, and multifactorial or unclear etiologies. Pulmonary Hypertension) and pulmonary fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
      • Acute chest syndrome: chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, pulmonary infiltrates, hypoxemia Hypoxemia Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome, acute anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
    • Kidney:
    • Bones and joints:[14]
      • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways in the long bones Long bones Length greater than width. Bones: Structure and Types, hands and feet, back, joints. Triggers include infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, stress, and cold exposure; in many cases, the cause is not identified.
      • Avascular necrosis Avascular Necrosis Hip Fractures (due to ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage commonly affecting the femoral and humeral head Humeral head The upper rounded extremity of the humerus fitting into the glenoid cavity of the scapula. Arm: Anatomy; typically asymptomatic until late in the disease)
      • Dactylitis Dactylitis Ankylosing Spondylitis (painful inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the fingers and/or toes)
    • Heart: MI MI MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction (from ↑ oxygen demand with limited oxygen-carrying capacity)
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy with changes due to ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage caused by sinusoidal obstruction:
      • Acute sickle cell hepatic crisis (ASCHC) if the obstruction is not extensive
      • Sickle cell intrahepatic cholestasis (SCIC): a severe, often fatal variant of ASCHC that occurs if the obstruction is extensive; associated with severe jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice and renal impairment
      • Both ASCHC and SCIC are associated with acute right upper quadrant Right upper quadrant Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, tender hepatomegaly, and elevated bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism levels
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy with changes due to acute sequestration of RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology and platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology:
      • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy increases acutely in size → associated with right upper quadrant Right upper quadrant Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, a > 2 g/dL decrease in hemoglobin level, thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia, and liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis 
      • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy size and blood counts usually normalize after 3–4 days if hemodynamic stability is maintained.
    • Eyes: retinal artery occlusion Retinal Artery Occlusion Retinal Vessel Occlusion, retinal detachment Retinal detachment Retinal detachment is the separation of the neurosensory retina from the retinal pigmented epithelium and choroid. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, the most common type, stems from a break in the retina, allowing fluid to accumulate in the subretinal space. Retinal Detachment, orbital infarction
    • Spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy:
      • Children: enlarged, may have pooling of blood or trapping of red cell mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast causing LUQ abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, weakness, hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension, and shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock ( splenic sequestration Splenic sequestration Severe Congenital Neutropenia)
      • Adults: Autosplenectomy Autosplenectomy Asplenia occurs with age, leading to infectious complications
    • GI: severe abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, with or without vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Penis Penis The penis is the male organ of copulation and micturition. The organ is composed of a root, body, and glans. The root is attached to the pubic bone by the crura penis. The body consists of the 2 parallel corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum. The glans is ensheathed by the prepuce or foreskin. Penis: Anatomy: priapism Priapism A prolonged painful erection that may lasts hours and is not associated with sexual activity. It is seen in patients with sickle cell anemia, advanced malignancy, spinal trauma; and certain drug treatments. Penile Anomalies and Conditions (sustained erection Erection The state of the penis when the erectile tissue becomes filled or swollen (tumid) with blood and causes the penis to become rigid and elevated. It is a complex process involving central nervous system; peripheral nervous systems; hormones; smooth muscles; and vascular functions. Penis: Anatomy that lasts > 4 hours); can also be seen in children with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease
    • Vascular: venous thromboembolism Thromboembolism Obstruction of a blood vessel (embolism) by a blood clot (thrombus) in the blood stream. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus ( SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease is a hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable states (also referred to as thrombophilias) are a group of hematologic diseases defined by an increased risk of clot formation (i.e., thrombosis) due to either an increase in procoagulants, a decrease in anticoagulants, or a decrease in fibrinolysis. Hypercoagulable States state)
  • Major chronic manifestations:
    • Chronic pain Chronic pain Aching sensation that persists for more than a few months. It may or may not be associated with trauma or disease, and may persist after the initial injury has healed. Its localization, character, and timing are more vague than with acute pain. Pain Management from:
      • Tissue infarction
      • Osteonecrosis
    • Chronic infection:
      • Leg Leg The lower leg, or just “leg” in anatomical terms, is the part of the lower limb between the knee and the ankle joint. The bony structure is composed of the tibia and fibula bones, and the muscles of the leg are grouped into the anterior, lateral, and posterior compartments by extensions of fascia. Leg: Anatomy ulcers (most commonly affects the lateral malleoli)
      • Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that results from the spread of microorganisms from the blood (hematogenous), nearby infected tissue, or open wounds (non-hematogenous). Infections are most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Osteomyelitis
    • Chronic hemolysis (intravascular and extravascular) → anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types:
      • Fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia
      • Pallor
      • Tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children
      • Cognitive delay and delayed growth in children
      • Folate deficiency Folate deficiency A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of folic acid in the diet. Many plant and animal tissues contain folic acid, abundant in green leafy vegetables, yeast, liver, and mushrooms but destroyed by long-term cooking. Alcohol interferes with its intermediate metabolism and absorption. Folic acid deficiency may develop in long-term anticonvulsant therapy or with use of oral contraceptives. This deficiency causes anemia, macrocytic anemia, and megaloblastic anemia. It is indistinguishable from vitamin B12 deficiency in peripheral blood and bone marrow findings, but the neurologic lesions seen in B12 deficiency do not occur. Megaloblastic Anemia can worsen chronic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types.
    • Osteoporosis Osteoporosis Osteoporosis refers to a decrease in bone mass and density leading to an increased number of fractures. There are 2 forms of osteoporosis: primary, which is commonly postmenopausal or senile; and secondary, which is a manifestation of immobilization, underlying medical disorders, or long-term use of certain medications. Osteoporosis
    • Blindness Blindness The inability to see or the loss or absence of perception of visual stimuli. This condition may be the result of eye diseases; optic nerve diseases; optic chiasm diseases; or brain diseases affecting the visual pathways or occipital lobe. Retinopathy of Prematurity from chronic retinopathy Retinopathy Degenerative changes to the retina due to hypertension. Alport Syndrome
    • Hemolysis of RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology can cause pigment gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis.
  • Complications: 
    • Recurrent vasoocclusive events and tissue infarctions → organ damage
    • Acute chest syndrome can be life-threatening; it is the most common cause of death in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease.
    • Heart: pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary hypertension (PH) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure, which can lead to chronic progressive right heart failure. Pulmonary hypertension is grouped into 5 categories based on etiology, which include primary PAH, and PH due to cardiac disease, lung or hypoxic disease, chronic thromboembolic disease, and multifactorial or unclear etiologies. Pulmonary Hypertension, cor pulmonale Cor Pulmonale Cor pulmonale is right ventricular (RV) dysfunction caused by lung disease that results in pulmonary artery hypertension. The most common cause of cor pulmonale is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Dyspnea is the usual presenting symptom. Cor Pulmonale, and heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)
    • Kidney: CKD CKD Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease, hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
    • Musculoskeletal: osteonecrosis, osteoporosis Osteoporosis Osteoporosis refers to a decrease in bone mass and density leading to an increased number of fractures. There are 2 forms of osteoporosis: primary, which is commonly postmenopausal or senile; and secondary, which is a manifestation of immobilization, underlying medical disorders, or long-term use of certain medications. Osteoporosis, and short stature in children Short stature in children Short stature in children is defined as a height more than 2 standard deviations below the mean for age and gender or growing below the 3rd percentile when plotting height on standardized growth charts. Short stature can be pathological or due to a normal variant in growth pattern. Short Stature in Children
    • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease:
      • Increased risk of infection with encapsulated Encapsulated Klebsiella bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology (e.g., Streptococcus Streptococcus Streptococcus is one of the two medically important genera of gram-positive cocci, the other being Staphylococcus. Streptococci are identified as different species on blood agar on the basis of their hemolytic pattern and sensitivity to optochin and bacitracin. There are many pathogenic species of streptococci, including S. pyogenes, S. agalactiae, S. pneumoniae, and the viridans streptococci. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae Haemophilus Influenzae A species of Haemophilus found on the mucous membranes of humans and a variety of animals. The species is further divided into biotypes I through viii. Haemophilus, Neisseria meningitidis Neisseria meningitidis A species of gram-negative, aerobic bacteria. It is a commensal and pathogen only of humans, and can be carried asymptomatically in the nasopharynx. When found in cerebrospinal fluid it is the causative agent of cerebrospinal meningitis. It is also found in venereal discharges and blood. There are at least 13 serogroups based on antigenic differences in the capsular polysaccharides; the ones causing most meningitis infections being a, b, c, y, and w-135. Each serogroup can be further classified by serotype, serosubtype, and immunotype. Neisseria) due to loss of splenic function ( hyposplenism Hyposplenism Asplenia and/or functional asplenia Functional Asplenia Asplenia)
      • Hepatitis
      • Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that results from the spread of microorganisms from the blood (hematogenous), nearby infected tissue, or open wounds (non-hematogenous). Infections are most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Osteomyelitis
      • Septic arthritis Arthritis Acute or chronic inflammation of joints. Osteoarthritis
      • Pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia
      • Meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis
      • Sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock
    • Complications associated with transfusions:
      • Alloimmunization, especially in those receiving chronic transfusions
      • Iron overload Iron overload An excessive accumulation of iron in the body due to a greater than normal absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract or from parenteral injection. This may arise from idiopathic hemochromatosis, excessive iron intake, chronic alcoholism, certain types of refractory anemia, or transfusional hemosiderosis. Hereditary Hemochromatosis
      • Hyperviscosity Hyperviscosity Hypercoagulable States syndrome
Sickle cell disease

Different patterns of splenic involvement in sickle cell disease:
A: atrophy and calcification of the spleen (arrow)
B: splenomegaly (arrows)

Image: “f6: Different patterns of splenic involvement in sickle cell disease. Sicklecell disease (HbSS) shows atrophy and calcification of the spleen (arrowon A), whereas non-HbSS sickle cell disease can showsplenomegaly (arrows on B).” by Ursula David Alves et al. License: CC BY 4.0

Sickle cell trait sickle cell trait The condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin S. Sickle Cell Disease ( HbSA HbSA The condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin s. Sickle Cell Disease)

  • Usually asymptomatic or only mild symptoms
  • May have painless hematuria Hematuria Presence of blood in the urine. Renal Cell Carcinoma due to renal papillary necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage 
  • Decreased (hyposthenuria) or loss of (isosthenuria) ability to concentrate the urine 
  • Rarely:
    • Sickle cell acute episode, rhabdomyolysis Rhabdomyolysis Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by muscle necrosis and the release of toxic intracellular contents, especially myoglobin, into the circulation. Rhabdomyolysis, and death if exposed to high altitudes or with extreme dehydration Dehydration The condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism. Volume Depletion and Dehydration or exercise
    • CKD CKD Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease
    • Pulmonary embolism Pulmonary Embolism Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a potentially fatal condition that occurs as a result of intraluminal obstruction of the main pulmonary artery or its branches. The causative factors include thrombi, air, amniotic fluid, and fat. In PE, gas exchange is impaired due to the decreased return of deoxygenated blood to the lungs. Pulmonary Embolism
    • Rare medullary carcinoma of the kidney
  • Benefit of sickle cell trait sickle cell trait The condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin S. Sickle Cell Disease: improved survival with malarial infection
  • Sickle cell homozygotes ( HbSS HbSS Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease) have no benefits from SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease; they are harmed by malarial infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, which worsen the preexisting anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types.

Diagnosis

Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease is usually diagnosed prenatally or at birth by mandatory neonatal screening Screening Preoperative Care. Methods vary from state to state.[2,4,8]

  • Testing:
    • Prenatal:
      • PCR PCR Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique that amplifies DNA fragments exponentially for analysis. The process is highly specific, allowing for the targeting of specific genomic sequences, even with minuscule sample amounts. The PCR cycles multiple times through 3 phases: denaturation of the template DNA, annealing of a specific primer to the individual DNA strands, and synthesis/elongation of new DNA molecules. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or direct DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure testing
      • Genetic screening Genetic Screening Physical Examination of the Newborn can be performed on samples of chorionic villi Chorionic villi Threadlike vascular projections of the chorion. Chorionic villi may be free or embedded within the decidua forming the site for exchange of substances between fetal and maternal blood (placenta). Placenta, Umbilical Cord, and Amniotic Cavity at 8–12 weeks of gestation.
    • Universal newborn Newborn An infant during the first 28 days after birth. Physical Examination of the Newborn screening Screening Preoperative Care in all 50 U.S. states:
      • Early recognition of affected infants has reduced morbidity Morbidity The proportion of patients with a particular disease during a given year per given unit of population. Measures of Health Status from infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease.
      • Prophylactic penicillin Penicillin Rheumatic Fever and regular Regular Insulin medical care Medical care Conflict of Interest have significantly reduced mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status in young children.
      • Methods: Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange electrophoresis Electrophoresis An electrochemical process in which macromolecules or colloidal particles with a net electric charge migrate in a solution under the influence of an electric current. Blotting Techniques, isoelectric focusing, or high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) followed by DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure sequencing if abnormal
    • Children and adults:
      • Individuals with signs or symptoms
      • Individuals with a family history Family History Adult Health Maintenance of sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease
      • Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange electrophoresis Electrophoresis An electrochemical process in which macromolecules or colloidal particles with a net electric charge migrate in a solution under the influence of an electric current. Blotting Techniques differentiates homozygotes from heterozygotes ( carriers Carriers The Cell: Cell Membrane) and can detect other hemoglobinopathies Hemoglobinopathies A group of inherited disorders characterized by structural alterations within the hemoglobin molecule. Anemia: Overview and Types.
  • Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange electrophoresis Electrophoresis An electrochemical process in which macromolecules or colloidal particles with a net electric charge migrate in a solution under the influence of an electric current. Blotting Techniques patterns:
    • In patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with HbSS HbSS Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease genotype Genotype The genetic constitution of the individual, comprising the alleles present at each genetic locus. Basic Terms of Genetics:
      • HbFS pattern suggests sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease.
      • No HbA1 or HbA2 present 
    • HbFSA pattern suggests a compound state involving a sickle cell mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations.
    • HbFAS pattern suggests sickle cell trait sickle cell trait The condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin S. Sickle Cell Disease.
  • CBC results:
    • Chronic compensated hemolytic anemia Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the term given to a large group of anemias that are caused by the premature destruction/hemolysis of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can occur within (intravascular hemolysis) or outside the blood vessels (extravascular hemolysis). Hemolytic Anemia with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease ( HbSS HbSS Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease):
      • Hemoglobin level approximately 8.0–10.0 g/dL (normal: 12.0–15.5 g/dL for women, 13.5–17.5 g/dL for men)
      • Hematocrit Hematocrit The volume of packed red blood cells in a blood specimen. The volume is measured by centrifugation in a tube with graduated markings, or with automated blood cell counters. It is an indicator of erythrocyte status in disease. For example, anemia shows a low value; polycythemia, a high value. Neonatal Polycythemia approximately 20%–30% (normal: 36%–44% for women, 41%–50% for men)
      • Normal MCV
      • ↑ WBC (10,000–20,000/µL)
      • Platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology (> 450,000/µL)
    • Peripheral blood smear Peripheral Blood Smear Anemia: Overview and Types:
      • Sickle cells
      • Howell-Jolly bodies Howell-Jolly Bodies Asplenia in individuals with autosplenectomy Autosplenectomy Asplenia (immature RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology with basophilic nuclear remnants)
      • Reticulocytes
      • Target cells with HbSC disease HbSC disease A disease characterized by chronic hemolytic anemia, episodic painful crises, and pathologic involvement of many organs. It is the clinical expression of homozygosity for hemoglobin s. Sickle Cell Disease
  • Other tests
    • ↑↑ Reticulocyte Reticulocyte Immature erythrocytes. In humans, these are erythroid cells that have just undergone extrusion of their cell nucleus. They still contain some organelles that gradually decrease in number as the cells mature. Ribosomes are last to disappear. Certain staining techniques cause components of the ribosomes to precipitate into characteristic ‘reticulum’ (not the same as the endoplasmic reticulum), hence the name reticulocytes. Erythrocytes: Histology count (3%–15%)
    • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Soft Tissue Abscess ( ESR ESR Soft Tissue Abscess)
    • Bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism (indirect)
    • ↑ BUN, ↑ creatinine
    • Liver function tests Liver function tests Liver function tests, also known as hepatic function panels, are one of the most commonly performed screening blood tests. Such tests are also used to detect, evaluate, and monitor acute and chronic liver diseases. Liver Function Tests: ↑ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests
    • LDH LDH Osteosarcoma
    • ↓ (or absent) Haptoglobin
Sickle cell anemia - peripheral blood smear

Peripheral blood smear showing a mixture of RBCs, some with round normal morphology and some with sickling (elongation and bending)

Image: “Sickle Cell Anemia” by Ed Uthman. License: CC BY 2.0

Management

Treatment of painful episodes includes analgesics and general supportive measures. Transfusions may be needed on occasion if the individual has symptomatic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, including for the complication of acute chest syndrome.

Medications[5,8,9,18,20]

  • Hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea An antineoplastic agent that inhibits DNA synthesis through the inhibition of ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy for prevention and treatment of vasoocclusive events:
    •  Mechanism of action:
      • Increases HbF levels, RBC water content, deformability of sickle cells
      • Alters adhesion Adhesion The process whereby platelets adhere to something other than platelets, e.g., collagen; basement membrane; microfibrils; or other ‘foreign’ surfaces. Coagulation Studies of RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology to endothelium Endothelium A layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels (vascular endothelium), lymph vessels (lymphatic endothelium), and the serous cavities of the body. Arteries: Histology
    • Reduces pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and other vasoocclusive complications
    • Decreases hospitalization Hospitalization The confinement of a patient in a hospital. Delirium rates
    • Improves survival
    • Indicated in all infants ≥ 9 months, children, adolescents
    • Indications in adults:[11,18]
      • ≥ 3 episodes of moderate to severe vasoocclusive pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways in a 12-month period
      • CKD CKD Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship already treated with erythropoietin Erythropoietin Glycoprotein hormone, secreted chiefly by the kidney in the adult and the liver in the fetus, that acts on erythroid stem cells of the bone marrow to stimulate proliferation and differentiation. Erythrocytes: Histology (for anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types)
      • Chronic SCD-associated pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways interfering with daily activities or quality Quality Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps. Quality Measurement and Improvement of life
      • Severe symptomatic chronic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
      • Severe or recurrent acute chest syndrome
    • Dosing:
      • Initially, 15 mg/kg orally once daily (rounded to the nearest 50-mg or 100-mg strength); monitor blood counts every 2 weeks
      • Increase by 5 mg/kg/day every 12 weeks until mild myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones is achieved ( absolute neutrophil count Absolute neutrophil count The number of neutrophils (as opposed to the percentage of WBCs) circulating per µL of blood . Neutropenia (ANC) 2,000–4,000/mm3) or to a maximum dose of 35 mg/kg/day
  • New therapies since 2019 for patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship who do not tolerate hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea An antineoplastic agent that inhibits DNA synthesis through the inhibition of ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy or have continued pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways while receiving it:
    • L-glutamine:
      • For use in adults or children ≥ 5 years 
      • 0.3 g/kg orally twice daily 
    • Crizanlizumab:
      • P-selectin P-selectin Cell adhesion molecule and cd antigen that mediates the adhesion of neutrophils and monocytes to activated platelets and endothelial cells. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) inhibitor
      • Significantly lowers the frequency of SCD-related pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways crises
      • May be given with or without hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea An antineoplastic agent that inhibits DNA synthesis through the inhibition of ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship ≥ 16 years
      • Dosing: 5 mg/kg IV every 2 weeks for 2 doses, then every 4 weeks
    • Voxelotor:
      • A new Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S polymerization inhibitor; increases Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange levels and reduces markers of hemolysis
      • Studies did not show a significant ↓ in acute pain Acute pain Intensely discomforting, distressful, or agonizing sensation associated with trauma or disease, with well-defined location, character, and timing. Pain Management events.
      • May be given with or without hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea An antineoplastic agent that inhibits DNA synthesis through the inhibition of ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship ≥ 4 years
      • May cause hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen in 1%–2% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship (in those with abnormal liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy tests due to hemolysis, diagnosis can be challenging)
      • Dosing for adults and children ≥ 12 years: 1.5 g once daily
      • Dosing for children 4–11 years: 600–900 mg/day based on weight
    • Therapies with potential to cure, if vasoocclusive complications are not well controlled (but expensive and potentially fatal):
      • Traditional allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) 
      • Modified HSCT ( gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics therapy, gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics editing)
      • Upregulating gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics expression to raise Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange F and decrease Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S levels

Preventive measures[5,8,9,18,20]

  • Infection prevention:
    • Age-appropriate vaccinations:
      • S. pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia (pneumococcal conjugate and polysaccharide vaccines)
      • Seasonal influenza Influenza Influenza viruses are members of the Orthomyxoviridae family and the causative organisms of influenza, a highly contagious febrile respiratory disease. There are 3 primary influenza viruses (A, B, and C) and various subtypes, which are classified based on their virulent surface antigens, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). Influenza typically presents with a fever, myalgia, headache, and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. Influenza Viruses/Influenza
      • N. meningitidis N. meningitidis A species of gram-negative, aerobic bacteria. It is a commensal and pathogen only of humans, and can be carried asymptomatically in the nasopharynx. When found in cerebrospinal fluid it is the causative agent of cerebrospinal meningitis. It is also found in venereal discharges and blood. There are at least 13 serogroups based on antigenic differences in the capsular polysaccharides; the ones causing most meningitis infections being a, b, c, y, and w-135. Each serogroup can be further classified by serotype, serosubtype, and immunotype. Neisseria
      • H. influenzae H. influenzae A species of Haemophilus found on the mucous membranes of humans and a variety of animals. The species is further divided into biotypes I through VIII. Haemophilus type b (Hib)
      • Hepatitis B Hepatitis B Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a partially double-stranded DNA virus, which belongs to the Orthohepadnavirus genus and the Hepadnaviridae family. Most individuals with acute HBV infection are asymptomatic or have mild, self-limiting symptoms. Chronic infection can be asymptomatic or create hepatic inflammation, leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B Virus
    • Penicillin Penicillin Rheumatic Fever prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins:
      • Start within the 1st 3 months of life.
      • Dosage Dosage Dosage Calculation: 125 mg orally twice daily until age 3, then 250 mg twice daily 
      • Erythromycin Erythromycin A bacteriostatic antibiotic macrolide produced by streptomyces erythreus. Erythromycin a is considered its major active component. In sensitive organisms, it inhibits protein synthesis by binding to 50s ribosomal subunits. This binding process inhibits peptidyl transferase activity and interferes with translocation of amino acids during translation and assembly of proteins. Macrolides and Ketolides if penicillin Penicillin Rheumatic Fever allergy Allergy An abnormal adaptive immune response that may or may not involve antigen-specific IgE Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction
      • Continue until age 5 years.
  • Folic acid supplementation: 1 mg orally daily
  • Avoid dehydration Dehydration The condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism. Volume Depletion and Dehydration and hypoxia Hypoxia Sub-optimal oxygen levels in the ambient air of living organisms. Ischemic Cell Damage.

Transfusion:[18]

  • Red blood cell transfusion reduces burden of sickled cells and increases oxygen-carrying capacity and perfusion throughout the vascular system.
  • Delivery:
    • Simple transfusion:
      • Infusion of donor blood without removal of patient’s blood
      • Can cause hyperviscosity Hyperviscosity Hypercoagulable States, iron overload Iron overload An excessive accumulation of iron in the body due to a greater than normal absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract or from parenteral injection. This may arise from idiopathic hemochromatosis, excessive iron intake, chronic alcoholism, certain types of refractory anemia, or transfusional hemosiderosis. Hereditary Hemochromatosis
    • Exchange transfusion (partial or total):
      • Removal of patient’s blood during or after infusion of donor blood
      • Can be done manually or by apheresis
      • Can cause iron overload Iron overload An excessive accumulation of iron in the body due to a greater than normal absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract or from parenteral injection. This may arise from idiopathic hemochromatosis, excessive iron intake, chronic alcoholism, certain types of refractory anemia, or transfusional hemosiderosis. Hereditary Hemochromatosis
      • Requires placement of central venous catheter Central Venous Catheter Central venous catheters are IV lines placed into the large central veins for monitoring of central venous pressure (CVP), prolonged drug administration, or administration of parenteral nutrition. The most common sites of insertion are the internal jugular and subclavian veins. Central Venous Catheter and an experienced center and staff
      • Expensive
  • Indications for transfusion (see table):[9,15,18]
    • Symptomatic or severe anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types 
    • Preoperatively
    • Acute stroke
    • Multiorgan failure
    • Acute chest syndrome
    • Recurrent priapism Priapism A prolonged painful erection that may lasts hours and is not associated with sexual activity. It is seen in patients with sickle cell anemia, advanced malignancy, spinal trauma; and certain drug treatments. Penile Anomalies and Conditions
Table: Transfusion indications in sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease[18]
Indications for acute transfusion Aplastic crisis, splenic sequestration Splenic sequestration Severe Congenital Neutropenia Simple transfusion
Acute stroke or TIA TIA Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a temporary episode of neurologic dysfunction caused by ischemia without infarction that resolves completely when blood supply is restored. Transient ischemic attack is a neurologic emergency that warrants urgent medical attention. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) Exchange transfusion
Acute hepatic sequestration or cholestasis Simple or exchange transfusion
Acute chest syndrome
Multiorgan failure
Preoperative
Indications for chronic transfusion Primary stroke prevention Simple or exchange transfusion
Secondary stroke prevention
Recurrent vasoocclusive conditions

Other therapeutic recommendations:

  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation Transfer of hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow or blood between individuals within the same species (homologous transplantation) or transfer within the same individual (autologous transplantation). Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been used as an alternative to bone marrow transplantation in the treatment of a variety of neoplasms. Organ Transplantation is the only curative option.[20]
    • Limited donors
    • Matched siblings offer the best results in children.
  • Therapies not used for acute vasoocclusive episodes:
    • O2: unless saturation is below baseline or there are pulmonary symptoms
    • Ice: may precipitate sickling Sickling Sickle Cell Disease
    • Meperidine: associated with accumulation of metabolites, leading to seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
    • Ketorolac: due to toxicities
    • Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor A glycoprotein of mw 25 kda containing internal disulfide bonds. It induces the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of neutrophilic granulocyte precursor cells and functionally activates mature blood neutrophils. Among the family of colony-stimulating factors, G-CSF is the most potent inducer of terminal differentiation to granulocytes and macrophages of leukemic myeloid cell lines. White Myeloid Cells: Histology (G-CSF): due to risk of multiorgan failure and death (with rare exceptions) 

Complications

Recommendations for acute complications:[1,9,11] 

  • Acute chest syndrome: a new radiodensity on chest radiograph accompanied by fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever and/or respiratory symptoms [11]
    • Pathophysiology: usually vasoocclusion in the pulmonary microvasculature due to fat emboli caused by bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis infarction; in children, infection is a common cause.[17]
    • A leading cause of death for patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease; more severe in adults
    • Needs prompt management to prevent clinical deterioration and death:
      • Analgesics 
      • Supplemental oxygen Supplemental Oxygen Respiratory Failure and incentive spirometry Spirometry Measurement of volume of air inhaled or exhaled by the lung. Pulmonary Function Tests
      • RBC transfusion to achieve Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange > 10 g/dL
      • Antibiotics ( empiric therapy Empiric Therapy Meningitis in Children for pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia)
  • Acute painful episodes:[14, 18]
    • Individualize pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways protocol. (Discuss options with patient and family.)
    • Hospitalization Hospitalization The confinement of a patient in a hospital. Delirium and rapid initiation of parenteral opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics in severe cases
    • Medications are typically given IV by patient-controlled analgesia Analgesia Methods of pain relief that may be used with or in place of analgesics. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts (PCA) pump Pump ACES and RUSH: Resuscitation Ultrasound Protocols; may be given SC if IV access is difficult.
      • Morphine Morphine The principal alkaloid in opium and the prototype opiate analgesic and narcotic. Morphine has widespread effects in the central nervous system and on smooth muscle. Opioid Analgesics:
        • Opioid-naive: 0.1–0.15 mg/kg IV within 30 minutes after presentation; reassess pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways in 20 minutes 
        • May repeat doses of 0.02–0.05 mg/kg every 20–30 minutes 
      • Hydromorphone Hydromorphone An opioid analgesic made from morphine and used mainly as an analgesic. It has a shorter duration of action than morphine. Opioid Analgesics:
        • Patient weight ≥ 50 kg: 1.5 mg initially; repeat with 20%–50% of original dose every 30 minutes if needed
        • Patient weight < 50 kg: 0.02–0.05 mg/kg; maximum initial dose, 1.5 mg; repeat as above
  • Stroke:[12,13,15,16,18]
    • Regular Regular Insulin annual transcranial Doppler Doppler Ultrasonography applying the doppler effect, with frequency-shifted ultrasound reflections produced by moving targets (usually red blood cells) in the bloodstream along the ultrasound axis in direct proportion to the velocity of movement of the targets, to determine both direction and velocity of blood flow. Ultrasound (Sonography) ultrasonography:
      • Recommended in children ≤ 16 years of age
      • Helps determine those at high risk (transcranial Doppler Doppler Ultrasonography applying the doppler effect, with frequency-shifted ultrasound reflections produced by moving targets (usually red blood cells) in the bloodstream along the ultrasound axis in direct proportion to the velocity of movement of the targets, to determine both direction and velocity of blood flow. Ultrasound (Sonography) velocity ≥ 200 cm/sec)
    • Exchange transfusion
    • Chronic red blood cell transfusion maintaining Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S at ≤ 30% of total Hgb (primary and secondary prevention)
    • Hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea An antineoplastic agent that inhibits DNA synthesis through the inhibition of ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease:[11,18]
    • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever (temperature > 38.3°C (101.5°F)) needs prompt evaluation and antibiotic initiation.
    • Management:
      • Preventive measures: prophylactic penicillin Penicillin Rheumatic Fever and updated vaccinations
      • Appropriate antibiotic treatment depending on site of infection and organism/s
  • Splenic sequestration Splenic sequestration Severe Congenital Neutropenia:[15]
  • Aplastic crisis:[1,8]
    • Suspect in worsening anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, without increase in reticulocytes (transient)
    • Transfusion (see above)
  • Hepatobiliary complications:[10,15]
    • Hepatic sequestration:
    • Acute cholecystitis Acute cholecystitis Acute inflammation of the gallbladder wall. It is characterized by the presence of abdominal pain; fever; and leukocytosis. Gallstone obstruction of the cystic duct is present in approximately 90% of the cases. Cholecystitis from gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis:
      • Supportive therapy
      • Surgery
  • Myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction:
    • Management per acute coronary syndrome protocol
  • Others:[1,11]
    • Venous thromboembolism Thromboembolism Obstruction of a blood vessel (embolism) by a blood clot (thrombus) in the blood stream. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus ( VTE VTE Obstruction of a vein or veins (embolism) by a blood clot (thrombus) in the bloodstream. Hypercoagulable States):
      • Thromboprophylaxis is recommended for all adults with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease who are hospitalized (unless contraindicated).
      • For patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with leg Leg The lower leg, or just “leg” in anatomical terms, is the part of the lower limb between the knee and the ankle joint. The bony structure is composed of the tibia and fibula bones, and the muscles of the leg are grouped into the anterior, lateral, and posterior compartments by extensions of fascia. Leg: Anatomy ulcers, check lower-extremity Doppler Doppler Ultrasonography applying the doppler effect, with frequency-shifted ultrasound reflections produced by moving targets (usually red blood cells) in the bloodstream along the ultrasound axis in direct proportion to the velocity of movement of the targets, to determine both direction and velocity of blood flow. Ultrasound (Sonography) for deep vein thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus.
      • Short-term anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs for 1st-time, provoked VTE VTE Obstruction of a vein or veins (embolism) by a blood clot (thrombus) in the bloodstream. Hypercoagulable States[16]
      • Indefinite anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs for those with unprovoked VTE VTE Obstruction of a vein or veins (embolism) by a blood clot (thrombus) in the bloodstream. Hypercoagulable States or recurrent provoked VTE VTE Obstruction of a vein or veins (embolism) by a blood clot (thrombus) in the bloodstream. Hypercoagulable States[16]
    • Priapism Priapism A prolonged painful erection that may lasts hours and is not associated with sexual activity. It is seen in patients with sickle cell anemia, advanced malignancy, spinal trauma; and certain drug treatments. Penile Anomalies and Conditions (a compartment syndrome Compartment Syndrome Compartment syndrome is a surgical emergency usually occurring secondary to trauma. The condition is marked by increased pressure within a compartment that compromises the circulation and function of the tissues within that space. Compartment Syndrome of the penis Penis The penis is the male organ of copulation and micturition. The organ is composed of a root, body, and glans. The root is attached to the pubic bone by the crura penis. The body consists of the 2 parallel corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum. The glans is ensheathed by the prepuce or foreskin. Penis: Anatomy):
      • Hydration
      • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control
      • Emergent urologic evaluation for episodes > 4 hours (at 6 hours, irreversible tissue damage can begin to occur)
      • Aspiration of blood from the corpus cavernosum, with saline irrigation and then injection of an alpha-adrenergic agonist (e.g., phenylephrine Phenylephrine An alpha-1 adrenergic agonist used as a mydriatic, nasal decongestant, and cardiotonic agent. Sympathomimetic Drugs)
    • Alloimmunization:[15]
      • Delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions Transfusion reactions Transfusion-related complications occur during or after a blood product is given. These complications can be classified as immunologic, non-immunologic and acute, and delayed. Non-immunologic reactions are caused by the transmission of disease in blood products, and immunologic reactions are antigen-antibody-mediated. Transfusion Reactions may present with worsening anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia, jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice, dark urine, or pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways within 3–14 days.
      • Can present up to 3 months later
      • RBC antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination matching can be used for prevention.
      • Immunosuppressive therapies may be needed to treat a severe reaction.

Recommendations for chronic complications:[1,9,11,16,18]

  • Chronic kidney disease Chronic Kidney Disease Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease:
    • Annual screening Screening Preoperative Care of albuminuria Albuminuria The presence of albumin in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Kidney Function Tests: spot urine test to estimate protein-to-creatinine ratio Protein-to-creatinine ratio Chronic Kidney Disease
    • If protein excretion rate > 300 mg/24 hours → nephrology referral
    • Consider angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin II Angiotensin II An octapeptide that is a potent but labile vasoconstrictor. It is produced from angiotensin I after the removal of two amino acids at the c-terminal by angiotensin converting enzyme. The amino acid in position 5 varies in different species. To block vasoconstriction and hypertension effect of angiotensin II, patients are often treated with ace inhibitors or with angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers. Renal Sodium and Water Regulation receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors blocker therapy.
    • Consider erythropoietin-stimulating agents.
  • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension:
    •  Goal BP: ≤ 130/80 mm Hg
    • Early treatment if BP is elevated
  • Pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary hypertension (PH) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure, which can lead to chronic progressive right heart failure. Pulmonary hypertension is grouped into 5 categories based on etiology, which include primary PAH, and PH due to cardiac disease, lung or hypoxic disease, chronic thromboembolic disease, and multifactorial or unclear etiologies. Pulmonary Hypertension:
    • Echocardiography Echocardiography Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic. Tricuspid Valve Atresia (TVA):
      • In patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with suspicious symptoms (e.g., chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea or hypoxemia Hypoxemia Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome at rest, syncope Syncope Syncope is a short-term loss of consciousness and loss of postural stability followed by spontaneous return of consciousness to the previous neurologic baseline without the need for resuscitation. The condition is caused by transient interruption of cerebral blood flow that may be benign or related to a underlying life-threatening condition. Syncope, new murmur)
      • In patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship who have known problems associated with pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary hypertension (PH) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure, which can lead to chronic progressive right heart failure. Pulmonary hypertension is grouped into 5 categories based on etiology, which include primary PAH, and PH due to cardiac disease, lung or hypoxic disease, chronic thromboembolic disease, and multifactorial or unclear etiologies. Pulmonary Hypertension (e.g., leg Leg The lower leg, or just “leg” in anatomical terms, is the part of the lower limb between the knee and the ankle joint. The bony structure is composed of the tibia and fibula bones, and the muscles of the leg are grouped into the anterior, lateral, and posterior compartments by extensions of fascia. Leg: Anatomy ulcers, priapism Priapism A prolonged painful erection that may lasts hours and is not associated with sexual activity. It is seen in patients with sickle cell anemia, advanced malignancy, spinal trauma; and certain drug treatments. Penile Anomalies and Conditions)
    • Echocardiography Echocardiography Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic. Tricuspid Valve Atresia (TVA) is not recommended in asymptomatic patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship
  • Respiratory problems:
    • High prevalence Prevalence The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from incidence, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency of asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma, especially in children
    • Perform pulmonary evaluation during visits and add workup (e.g., spirometry Spirometry Measurement of volume of air inhaled or exhaled by the lung. Pulmonary Function Tests) as indicated.
  • Neurocognitive dysfunction:
    • Evaluate for signs of cognitive dysfunction (e.g., memory Memory Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory. Psychiatric Assessment problems, decline in school performance), as patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship may have silent cerebral infarcts.
    • Depression also needs to be screened.
    • Use a validated screening Screening Preoperative Care tool or refer to a specialist for in-depth behavioral and cognitive assessment.
  • Avascular necrosis Avascular Necrosis Hip Fractures:
    • Annual examination of joints ( pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and ↓ range of motion Range of motion The distance and direction to which a bone joint can be extended. Range of motion is a function of the condition of the joints, muscles, and connective tissues involved. Joint flexibility can be improved through appropriate muscle strength exercises. Examination of the Upper Limbs especially in the hip and shoulder)
    • Obtain imaging when suspected.
    • Conservative management:
    • May require orthopedic surgery consultation for hip or shoulder arthroplasty Arthroplasty Surgical reconstruction of a joint to relieve pain or restore motion. Osteoarthritis
  • Other bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types health issues:
    • Vitamin D deficiency Vitamin D Deficiency A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of vitamin D in the diet, insufficient production of vitamin D in the skin, inadequate absorption of vitamin D from the diet, or abnormal conversion of vitamin D to its bioactive metabolites. It is manifested clinically as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies is common in SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease.
    • Annual testing of vitamin D Vitamin D A vitamin that includes both cholecalciferols and ergocalciferols, which have the common effect of preventing or curing rickets in animals. It can also be viewed as a hormone since it can be formed in skin by action of ultraviolet rays upon the precursors, 7-dehydrocholesterol and ergosterol, and acts on vitamin D receptors to regulate calcium in opposition to parathyroid hormone. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies levels
    • Bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types mineral density test (from age 12 years, repeated 1–3 years)
  • Chronic pain Chronic pain Aching sensation that persists for more than a few months. It may or may not be associated with trauma or disease, and may persist after the initial injury has healed. Its localization, character, and timing are more vague than with acute pain. Pain Management issues:
    • In addition to vasoocclusion, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways issues may be complicated by avascular necrosis Avascular Necrosis Hip Fractures, compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma fractures, and opioid Opioid Compounds with activity like opiate alkaloids, acting at opioid receptors. Properties include induction of analgesia or narcosis. Constipation use disorder.
    • Provide adequate opioid Opioid Compounds with activity like opiate alkaloids, acting at opioid receptors. Properties include induction of analgesia or narcosis. Constipation dosing for pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways relief, but with the following precautions:
      • Avoid unnecessary dose escalation.
      • Taper dose when appropriate.
    • Offer nonpharmacologic options (e.g., massage, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy A directive form of psychotherapy based on the interpretation of situations (cognitive structure of experiences) that determine how an individual feels and behaves. It is based on the premise that cognition, the process of acquiring knowledge and forming beliefs, is a primary determinant of mood and behavior. The therapy uses behavioral and verbal techniques to identify and correct negative thinking that is at the root of the aberrant behavior. Psychotherapy).
    • Mental health referral if depression, anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or dependence on pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways medication is present.
  • Leg Leg The lower leg, or just “leg” in anatomical terms, is the part of the lower limb between the knee and the ankle joint. The bony structure is composed of the tibia and fibula bones, and the muscles of the leg are grouped into the anterior, lateral, and posterior compartments by extensions of fascia. Leg: Anatomy ulcers:
    • Lower-extremity inspection Inspection Dermatologic Examination looking for current and healed ulcers
    • When ulcers are present, coordinate care with wound care specialist.
  • Retinopathy Retinopathy Degenerative changes to the retina due to hypertension. Alport Syndrome:
    • Annual ophthalmologic (dilated) examination for those 10 years of age and older
    • If retinopathy Retinopathy Degenerative changes to the retina due to hypertension. Alport Syndrome is suspected, refer to retina Retina The ten-layered nervous tissue membrane of the eye. It is continuous with the optic nerve and receives images of external objects and transmits visual impulses to the brain. Its outer surface is in contact with the choroid and the inner surface with the vitreous body. The outermost layer is pigmented, whereas the inner nine layers are transparent. Eye: Anatomy specialist.
  • Iron overload Iron overload An excessive accumulation of iron in the body due to a greater than normal absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract or from parenteral injection. This may arise from idiopathic hemochromatosis, excessive iron intake, chronic alcoholism, certain types of refractory anemia, or transfusional hemosiderosis. Hereditary Hemochromatosis:
    • Monitor serum ferritin Ferritin Iron-containing proteins that are widely distributed in animals, plants, and microorganisms. Their major function is to store iron in a nontoxic bioavailable form. Each ferritin molecule consists of ferric iron in a hollow protein shell (apoferritins) made of 24 subunits of various sequences depending on the species and tissue types. Hereditary Hemochromatosis every 1–3 months; start chelation therapy if >1,000–1,500 µg/L.
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy MRI:
      • May also be used every 1–2 years to assess liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements content/overload
      • Start chelation therapy when liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements is > 3–5 mg/g dry weight.
    • Chelation therapy:
      • Deferasirox Deferasirox A triazole and benzoate derivative that acts as a selective iron chelator. It is used in the management of chronic iron overload due to blood transfusion or non-transfusion dependent thalassemia. Hereditary Hemochromatosis (preferred)
      • Dosage Dosage Dosage Calculation depends on the brand used.
  • Hyperviscosity Hyperviscosity Hypercoagulable States: Prevention strategies include exchange transfusion rather than simple transfusion 
  • Reproductive planning:
    • Discuss testing partners for hemoglobinopathy status testing (if unknown).
    • Women anticipating pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care should be tested for red blood cell alloantibodies.
    • Discuss contraception choices, which include:
      • Progestin-only contraceptives
      • Barrier methods Barrier Methods Methods of contraception in which physical, chemical, or biological means are used to prevent the sperm from reaching the fertilizable ovum. Nonhormonal Contraception (recommended for patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship on hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea An antineoplastic agent that inhibits DNA synthesis through the inhibition of ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy)

Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas:[3,7,20]

  • Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease:
    • Survival for individuals with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease has improved dramatically in the past 40 years in the US.
    • Major cause of death has shifted from infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease to progressive end-organ damage.
    • Median life expectancy Life expectancy Based on known statistical data, the number of years which any person of a given age may reasonably expected to live. Population Pyramids for adults with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease is ≥ 20 years shorter than African Americans without SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease living in the US.
  • Acute and chronic complications greatly increase morbidity Morbidity The proportion of patients with a particular disease during a given year per given unit of population. Measures of Health Status.
  • SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease is also associated with reduced quality Quality Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps. Quality Measurement and Improvement of life and work/school productivity.
Summary of the management of sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease
Presentation Management
Acute pain Acute pain Intensely discomforting, distressful, or agonizing sensation associated with trauma or disease, with well-defined location, character, and timing. Pain Management episodes/ vasoocclusive events
  • Oral hydration
  • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control with fast-acting oral (or IV if needed) opiate analgesics
  • IV fluids IV fluids Intravenous fluids are one of the most common interventions administered in medicine to approximate physiologic bodily fluids. Intravenous fluids are divided into 2 categories: crystalloid and colloid solutions. Intravenous fluids have a wide variety of indications, including intravascular volume expansion, electrolyte manipulation, and maintenance fluids. Intravenous Fluids if hypovolemic and for pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control
  • Incentive spirometry Spirometry Measurement of volume of air inhaled or exhaled by the lung. Pulmonary Function Tests to reduce the risk of acute chest syndrome
  • Thromboembolic prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins
  • Hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea An antineoplastic agent that inhibits DNA synthesis through the inhibition of ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy
  • Folic acid (for folate deficiency Folate deficiency A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of folic acid in the diet. Many plant and animal tissues contain folic acid, abundant in green leafy vegetables, yeast, liver, and mushrooms but destroyed by long-term cooking. Alcohol interferes with its intermediate metabolism and absorption. Folic acid deficiency may develop in long-term anticonvulsant therapy or with use of oral contraceptives. This deficiency causes anemia, macrocytic anemia, and megaloblastic anemia. It is indistinguishable from vitamin B12 deficiency in peripheral blood and bone marrow findings, but the neurologic lesions seen in B12 deficiency do not occur. Megaloblastic Anemia)
  • Exchange transfusion (in case of Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange < 6 g/dL or acute chest syndrome)
Acute splenic sequestration Splenic sequestration Severe Congenital Neutropenia
  • Simple transfusion[18]
  • Splenectomy Splenectomy Surgical procedure involving either partial or entire removal of the spleen. Rupture of the Spleen (delay until the age of 3–5 years)
Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease Prevention:
Priapism Priapism A prolonged painful erection that may lasts hours and is not associated with sexual activity. It is seen in patients with sickle cell anemia, advanced malignancy, spinal trauma; and certain drug treatments. Penile Anomalies and Conditions
  • Hydration
  • Analgesics
  • If episode > 4 hours, obtain emergent urologic evaluation
    • Aspiration of blood from the corpus cavernosum, with saline irrigation and then injection of an alpha-adrenergic agonist (e.g., phenylephrine Phenylephrine An alpha-1 adrenergic agonist used as a mydriatic, nasal decongestant, and cardiotonic agent. Sympathomimetic Drugs)
    • Surgical shunt, if not reduced
Prophylactic screening Screening Preoperative Care
  • Stroke: annual transcranial Doppler Doppler Ultrasonography applying the doppler effect, with frequency-shifted ultrasound reflections produced by moving targets (usually red blood cells) in the bloodstream along the ultrasound axis in direct proportion to the velocity of movement of the targets, to determine both direction and velocity of blood flow. Ultrasound (Sonography) exam (age 2–16 years)
  • Retinopathy Retinopathy Degenerative changes to the retina due to hypertension. Alport Syndrome: annual retinal exam (beginning at age 10 years)
  • Echocardiography Echocardiography Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic. Tricuspid Valve Atresia (TVA): for pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary hypertension (PH) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure, which can lead to chronic progressive right heart failure. Pulmonary hypertension is grouped into 5 categories based on etiology, which include primary PAH, and PH due to cardiac disease, lung or hypoxic disease, chronic thromboembolic disease, and multifactorial or unclear etiologies. Pulmonary Hypertension (childhood/early adulthood)
  • Urinalysis Urinalysis Examination of urine by chemical, physical, or microscopic means. Routine urinalysis usually includes performing chemical screening tests, determining specific gravity, observing any unusual color or odor, screening for bacteriuria, and examining the sediment microscopically. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Children: annually for proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children/casts
Refractory
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) if:
    • Refractory to hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea An antineoplastic agent that inhibits DNA synthesis through the inhibition of ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy
    • End-organ damage
    • Child (age < 18)
  • Gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics therapy or gene-editing techniques that reduce the amount of Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange S are currently in clinical trials.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Hemolytic anemia Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the term given to a large group of anemias that are caused by the premature destruction/hemolysis of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can occur within (intravascular hemolysis) or outside the blood vessels (extravascular hemolysis). Hemolytic Anemia: group of conditions defined by the breakdown of RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology, reduction in hemoglobin levels, and reticulocytosis. Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease is a form of hemolytic anemia Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the term given to a large group of anemias that are caused by the premature destruction/hemolysis of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can occur within (intravascular hemolysis) or outside the blood vessels (extravascular hemolysis). Hemolytic Anemia with vasoocclusive episodes. Other causes of hemolytic anemia Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the term given to a large group of anemias that are caused by the premature destruction/hemolysis of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can occur within (intravascular hemolysis) or outside the blood vessels (extravascular hemolysis). Hemolytic Anemia must be considered in the differential diagnosis.
    • Thalassemia Thalassemia Thalassemia is a hereditary cause of microcytic hypochromic anemia and results from a deficiency in either the α or β globin chains, resulting in hemoglobinopathy. The presentation of thalassemia depends on the number of defective chains present and can range from being asymptomatic to rendering the more severely affected patients to be transfusion dependent. Thalassemia: inherited deficiency in either alpha- or beta-globin chain resulting in hypochromic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types. Presentation is mainly with severe anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, and more severely affected individuals are transfusion-dependent. Diagnosis is confirmed by Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange electrophoresis Electrophoresis An electrochemical process in which macromolecules or colloidal particles with a net electric charge migrate in a solution under the influence of an electric current. Blotting Techniques. Management includes folate Folate Folate and vitamin B12 are 2 of the most clinically important water-soluble vitamins. Deficiencies can present with megaloblastic anemia, GI symptoms, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and adverse pregnancy complications, including neural tube defects. Folate and Vitamin B12 supplementation, transfusions, iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements chelation, and splenectomy Splenectomy Surgical procedure involving either partial or entire removal of the spleen. Rupture of the Spleen.
    • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is a rare type of hemolytic anemia characterized by antibody production against self RBCs, leading to destruction of these cells in the spleen and other reticuloendothelial tissues. The disease is generally categorized as warm or cold, depending on the thermal reactivity of the autoantibodies. Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: rare type of anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types resulting from immune-mediated tagging and destruction of RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology by the spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy. Presentation is with symptoms of hemolysis, and the diagnosis is made by a positive Coombs test. Management involves supportive care, removal of the inciting agent, use of steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors and immunosuppressive agents, and splenectomy Splenectomy Surgical procedure involving either partial or entire removal of the spleen. Rupture of the Spleen in refractory cases.
    • Hereditary spherocytosis Hereditary Spherocytosis Hereditary spherocytosis (HS) is the most common type of hereditary hemolytic anemia. The condition is caused by a cytoskeletal protein deficiency in the RBC membrane. This results in loss of membrane stability and deformability of the RBC, giving the cell its spherical shape (spherocyte). Hereditary Spherocytosis: most common type of hereditary hemolytic anemia Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the term given to a large group of anemias that are caused by the premature destruction/hemolysis of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can occur within (intravascular hemolysis) or outside the blood vessels (extravascular hemolysis). Hemolytic Anemia. Hereditary spherocytosis Hereditary Spherocytosis Hereditary spherocytosis (HS) is the most common type of hereditary hemolytic anemia. The condition is caused by a cytoskeletal protein deficiency in the RBC membrane. This results in loss of membrane stability and deformability of the RBC, giving the cell its spherical shape (spherocyte). Hereditary Spherocytosis is caused by an abnormality in the RBC membrane protein, resulting in RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology with a spherical shape that get trapped within the splenic tissue. Presentation is with hemolysis, anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice, and splenomegaly Splenomegaly Splenomegaly is pathologic enlargement of the spleen that is attributable to numerous causes, including infections, hemoglobinopathies, infiltrative processes, and outflow obstruction of the portal vein. Splenomegaly. Management is with splenectomy Splenectomy Surgical procedure involving either partial or entire removal of the spleen. Rupture of the Spleen.
    • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase Pentose Phosphate Pathway ( G6PD G6PD Pentose Phosphate Pathway) deficiency: type of intravascular hemolytic anemia Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the term given to a large group of anemias that are caused by the premature destruction/hemolysis of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can occur within (intravascular hemolysis) or outside the blood vessels (extravascular hemolysis). Hemolytic Anemia. Individuals experience episodic hemolysis Episodic Hemolysis Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency due to an identified oxidative stressor that causes damage to RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology and presents with classic signs of hemolysis and anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types. Diagnosis is made by lab testing; peripheral blood smear Peripheral Blood Smear Anemia: Overview and Types may show Heinz bodies Heinz bodies Abnormal intracellular inclusions, composed of denatured hemoglobin, found on the membrane of red blood cells. They are seen in thalassemias, enzymopathies, hemoglobinopathies, and after splenectomy. Asplenia and bite cells. Management includes avoiding oxidative stressors and transfusion, if needed.
    • Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria Hemoglobinuria The presence of free hemoglobin in the urine, indicating hemolysis of erythrocytes within the vascular system. After saturating the hemoglobin-binding proteins (haptoglobins), free hemoglobin begins to appear in the urine. Transfusion Reactions: acquired mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations that leads to  intravascular hemolytic anemia Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the term given to a large group of anemias that are caused by the premature destruction/hemolysis of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can occur within (intravascular hemolysis) or outside the blood vessels (extravascular hemolysis). Hemolytic Anemia that is Coombs-negative and episodic. Presentation is with the classic triad of hemolytic anemia Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the term given to a large group of anemias that are caused by the premature destruction/hemolysis of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can occur within (intravascular hemolysis) or outside the blood vessels (extravascular hemolysis). Hemolytic Anemia, bone marrow failure Bone marrow failure Inherited or acquired diseases characterized by insufficient and/or dysplastic blood cells. Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria, and thrombophilia Thrombophilia A disorder of hemostasis in which there is a tendency for the occurrence of thrombosis. Hypercoagulable States. Individuals may also have progressive renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome with a very high risk of thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus in atypical locations. Individuals may be treated with the monoclonal antibody eculizumab or with stem cell transplantation.
  • Gaucher disease Gaucher disease Gaucher Disease (GD) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of glucocerebrosidase enzyme activity, resulting in accumulation of glucocerebroside in cells and certain organs. The disease is categorized into 3 types with variable clinical presentation. Gaucher Disease ( GD GD Gaucher disease (GD) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of glucocerebrosidase enzyme activity, resulting in accumulation of glucocerebroside in cells and certain organs. The disease is categorized into 3 types with variable clinical presentation. Gaucher Disease): inherited disorder that leads to the accumulation of undegraded glycolipid substrates in cells and certain organs, with bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis infarction and splenomegaly Splenomegaly Splenomegaly is pathologic enlargement of the spleen that is attributable to numerous causes, including infections, hemoglobinopathies, infiltrative processes, and outflow obstruction of the portal vein. Splenomegaly. These symptoms contrast with the splenic infarction Splenic Infarction Insufficiency of arterial or venous blood supply to the spleen due to emboli, thrombi, vascular torsion, or pressure that produces a macroscopic area of necrosis. . Imaging of the Spleen seen in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with SCD SCD Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders in which an abnormal Hb molecule (HbS) transforms RBCs into sickle-shaped cells, resulting in chronic anemia, vasoocclusive episodes, pain, and organ damage. Sickle Cell Disease. Symptoms of GD GD Gaucher disease (GD) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of glucocerebrosidase enzyme activity, resulting in accumulation of glucocerebroside in cells and certain organs. The disease is categorized into 3 types with variable clinical presentation. Gaucher Disease are bruising, lethargy Lethargy A general state of sluggishness, listless, or uninterested, with being tired, and having difficulty concentrating and doing simple tasks. It may be related to depression or drug addiction. Hyponatremia, anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, and hepatosplenomegaly Hepatosplenomegaly Cytomegalovirus. Diagnosis is based on clinical suspicion and confirmed by measurement of glucocerebrosidase activity. Management is supportive, with enzyme replacement Enzyme replacement Therapeutic replacement or supplementation of defective or missing enzymes to alleviate the effects of enzyme deficiency (e.g., glucosylceramidase replacement for gaucher disease). Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) therapy for symptoms and to improve quality Quality Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps. Quality Measurement and Improvement of life.

References

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  3. Lubeck, D., Agodoa, I., Bhakta, N., et al. (2019). Estimated life expectancy and income of patients with sickle cell disease compared with those without sickle cell disease. JAMA Network Open, 2(11), e1915374. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.15374
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