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Clin Mol Allergy. 2005 Jan 21;3(1):2.

Asthma is a risk factor for acute chest syndrome and cerebral vascular accidents in children with sickle cell disease.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Research Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. mzach@mcw.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Asthma and sickle cell disease are common conditions that both may result in pulmonary complications. We hypothesized that children with sickle cell disease with concomitant asthma have an increased incidence of vaso-occlusive crises that are complicated by episodes of acute chest syndrome.

METHODS:

A 5-year retrospective chart analysis was performed investigating 48 children ages 3-18 years with asthma and sickle cell disease and 48 children with sickle cell disease alone. Children were matched for age, gender, and type of sickle cell defect. Hospital admissions were recorded for acute chest syndrome, cerebral vascular accident, vaso-occlusive pain crises, and blood transfusions (total, exchange and chronic). Mann-Whitney test and Chi square analysis were used to assess differences between the groups.

RESULTS:

Children with sickle cell disease and asthma had significantly more episodes of acute chest syndrome (p = 0.03) and cerebral vascular accidents (p = 0.05) compared to children with sickle cell disease without asthma. As expected, these children received more total blood transfusions (p = 0.01) and chronic transfusions (p = 0.04). Admissions for vasoocclusive pain crises and exchange transfusions were not statistically different between cases and controls. SS disease is more severe than SC disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with concomitant asthma and sickle cell disease have increased episodes of acute chest syndrome, cerebral vascular accidents and the need for blood transfusions. Whether aggressive asthma therapy can reduce these complications in this subset of children is unknown and requires further studies.

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