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Br J Haematol. 2010 Mar;148(5):797-804. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.08013.x. Epub 2009 Dec 8.

Increased levels of the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein at baseline are associated with childhood sickle cell vasocclusive crises.

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Marian Anderson Comprehensive Sickle Cell Anemia Care and Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. <>


Several lines of evidence suggest that sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with a chronic inflammatory state. In this study of 70 children with SCD at steady state evaluated by a broad panel of biomarkers representing previously examined mechanisms of pathogenicity in SCD, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a marker of low-grade, systemic inflammation, emerged as the most significant laboratory correlate of hospitalizations for pain or vaso-occlusive (VOC) events. While markers of increased haemolytic status, endothelial activation and coagulation activation all correlated positively with VOC events by univariate analysis, baseline hs-CRP levels provided the most significant contribution to the association in multiple regression models (22%), and, hs-CRP, along with age, provided the best fit in negative binomial models. These data highlight the clinical relevance of the role of inflammation in paediatric VOC, providing both a rationale for future therapeutic strategies targeting inflammation in microvessel occlusive complications of SCD, and the potential clinical use of hs-CRP as a biomarker in childhood SCD.

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