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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2005 Apr;29(4):392-400.

Are there phases to the vaso-occlusive painful episode in sickle cell disease?

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  • 1Department of Hematology/Oncology, Texas Children's Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The purpose of this study was to describe the pain experience of children with sickle cell disease who were hospitalized for vaso-occlusive painful episodes. The pain experience, and signs and symptoms prior to admission and during hospitalization, are presented in the context of whether there is evidence to support the existence of phases to a vaso-occlusive painful episode. Children were interviewed about the onset of the painful episode and were asked to describe their pain from the day of admission to the day of discharge from the hospital. They were also observed for the absence or presence of signs and symptoms associated with the painful vaso-occlusive episode. Findings from this study provide some evidence to support previous observations related to changes during the evolution of painful episodes that may be occurring in phases (e.g., evolving, inflammatory, resolving), as previously described in adults and children. These phases had different names, although the concepts were similar.

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