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Blood. 2012 Nov 8;120(19):3891-7. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-01-406314. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Acute silent cerebral ischemia and infarction during acute anemia in children with and without sickle cell disease.

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  • 1Departments of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9063, USA. michael.dowling@utsouthwestern.edu


We hypothesized that the silent cerebral infarcts (SCI), which affect up to 40% of children with sickle cell disease (SCD), could occur in the setting of acute anemic events. In a prospective observational study of children with and without SCD hospitalized for an illness associated with acute anemia, we identified acute silent cerebral ischemic events (ASCIE) in 4 (18.2%) of 22 with SCD and in 2 (6.7%) of 30 without SCD, using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Children with ASCIE had lower hemoglobin concentration than those without (median 3.1 vs 4.4 g/dL, P = .003). The unique temporal features of stroke on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging permit estimation of incidence rates for ASCIE of 421 (95% confidence interval, 155-920) per 100 patient-years during acute anemic events for all patients. For children with SCD, the estimated incidence was 663 (95% confidence interval, 182-1707) which is much higher than previously reported. Acute anemic events are common in children with SCD and prevalence could partially account for the high SCI. Some ASCIE (1 of 4 in our study) may be reversible. Alterations in management may be warranted for children with severe anemia to identify unrecognized ischemic brain injury that may have permanent neurocognitive sequelae.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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