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Blood. 2000 Sep 1;96(5):1685-9.

Effect of active prenatal management on pregnancy outcome in sickle cell disease in an African setting.

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  • 1Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease and Comprehensive Clinical Care Programs, Unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Cotonou, National University of Republic of Benin (West Africa).


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with an increased risk of medical complications during pregnancy. In sub-Saharan Africa, fetal and maternal mortality rates are particularly high. This study evaluated the effect of an active prenatal management program on pregnancy outcome in patients with SCD in an African setting. Pregnant women with SCD attending the National Teaching Hospital in Cotonou (The Republic of Benin, West Africa) were recruited before the 28th week of gestation. Management was based on providing information and education about SCD and improving nutritional status, malaria prevention, early detection of bacterial infections, and restricted use of blood transfusion. Maternal and fetal mortality rates and SCD-related morbidity were the principal variables assessed. One hundred and eight patients (42 SS and 66 SC) with 111 fetuses were included in the study. Thirteen fetal deaths (from 9 SS and 4 SC mothers) were recorded and 2 deaths of SC mothers. The maternal mortality rate of 1.8% was comparable with the overall maternal mortality rate for this maternity unit (1.2%). Few SCD-related events were recorded. Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection was the major cause of morbidity. Sixty-three patients (19 SS and 44 SC) successfully completed their pregnancy (58.3%) without requiring transfusion. Providing pregnant SCD patients with relevant medical care based on simple cost-effective approaches can have a positive impact on SCD-associated morbidity and mortality in an otherwise difficult setting in Africa. (Blood. 2000;96:1685-1689)

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