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Br J Haematol. 2008 Jan;140(1):104-12. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

Clinical differences between children and adults with pulmonary hypertension and sickle cell disease.

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Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, Oakland, CA 94609, USA.


Pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is an important co-morbidity in sickle cell disease (SCD). Despite increasing research in adults, the prevalence and implication of this condition in children is unknown. Charts of 362 SCD patients followed at the Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland were reviewed to determine clinical variables associated with obtaining echocardiographic screening for PHT, clinical associations of PHT, and associated mortality following diagnosis in adults and children with SCD. In this cohort, patients with underlying lung abnormalities or those on chronic transfusions were more likely to have echocardiograms, however the diagnosis of PHT was often unrecognized. A different clinical phenotype for PHT in adults versus children was identified. Associations with PHT for adults included age, renal and lung disease, hepatitis C, chronic transfusions, and a history of acute chest syndrome (ACS), with ACS being protective. Surprisingly, for children, a history of sepsis, along with a history of ACS, or obstructive lung disease were associated with PHT. Survival analysis found significant mortality for PHT, with a hazard ratio of 17.3 (95% confidence interval 4.9-60.4). The divergent clinical spectrum for PHT between adults and children may point to different age-specific mechanisms or biological expression of PHT.

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