Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Hematol. 2011 Apr;86(4):357-61. doi: 10.1002/ajh.21986.

Long-term results using hydroxyurea/phlebotomy for reducing secondary stroke risk in children with sickle cell anemia and iron overload.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.


Children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) and a primary overt stroke are at high risk of recurrent (secondary) stroke. Chronic transfusion therapy dramatically reduces but does not eliminate this high risk, and inevitably results in transfusion-related hemosiderosis. We previously reported the use of hydroxyurea/phlebotomy as an alternative to transfusions to reduce the risk of secondary stroke and improve management of iron overload in 35 children with SCA. To report long-term results, we retrospectively reviewed clinical and laboratory data through October 2008. With a median of 5.6 years and total of 219 patient-years of follow-up, 10 of 35 patients (29%) had recurrent stroke after switching to hydroxyurea; seven were previously reported and three new strokes occurred during extended follow-up. The overall secondary stroke event rate was 4.6 per 100 patient-years. Children on hydroxyurea received serial phlebotomy and had lower mean serum ferritin values than children on transfusions (591 ng/mL vs. 3410 ng/mL, P = 0.02). In this cohort, long-term hydroxyurea treatment reduced but did not eliminate the risk of stroke recurrence and, uniquely, allowed phlebotomy to reduce iron overload. Long-term assessments of this therapy should evaluate risk factors for secondary stroke and assessments of hemosiderosis, neurocognitive outcome, and health-related quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center