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Etiology of strokes in children with sickle cell anemia.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63108, USA.


The most devastating complication of sickle cell anemia is cerebral infarction, affecting approximately 30% of all individuals with sickle cell anemia. Despite being one of the most common causes of stroke in infants and children, the mechanism of cerebral infarction in this population has not been extensively studied and is poorly understood. Multiple, synergistic factors are important in the pathogenesis of stroke including the hemodynamic effects of cerebral arterial occlusive disease, viscosity, chronic and acute anemia and acute medical events. This review focuses on the relationship between these factors in order to provide a foundation for further study of the etiology of strokes in this high-risk population.

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