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PLoS One. 2017 Sep 14;12(9):e0184287. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184287. eCollection 2017.

Pulmonary hypertension among 5 to 18 year old children with sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria.

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Department of Paediatrics, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Central Research Laboratory, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.



Pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is a significant cause of mortality in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Few studies on PHT in SCD have been carried out in children. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of PHT in children with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) and determine its clinical and laboratory correlates.


In this cross sectional study, evaluation involved obtaining bio-data, history and physical examination findings in 175 SCA subjects with haemoglobin genotype SS aged 5 to 18 years and 175 age and sex matched controls with haemoglobin genotype AA. PHT was determined using peak Tricuspid Regurgitant Velocity (TRV) obtained from echocardiography as a marker. Complete blood count (CBC), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, reticulocyte count, foetal haemoglobin (HbF) estimation as well as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) I and II, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) screening were done for patients with SCA.


The mean peak TRV of subjects with SCA and controls was 2.2 ± 0.4 m/s and 1.9 ± 0.3 m/s respectively and prevalence of PHT among children with SCA and controls was 22.9% and 2.3% respectively. PHT in SCA correlated negatively with body mass index, haematocrit and haemoglobin.


This study affirms that PHT prevalence is high in children with SCA in Nigeria. Cardiovascular examination for signs of PHT is recommended for children with SCA and if required, further echocardiographic assessment from as early as five years.

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