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Br J Haematol. 1995 Dec;91(4):834-7.

The metabolites of nitric oxide in sickle-cell disease.

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  • 1MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.


Plasma NOx concentrations were raised in 22 acute painful crises in SCD. We have measured blood concentrations of nitric oxide metabolites (NOx) in sickle-cell disease (SCD), and shown that they are increased compared with healthy controls (P = 0.002), and haemoglobin E/beta-thalassaemic controls (P = 0.05). Concentrations in steady-state SCD were also higher than in healthy controls (P = 0.04) but not significantly different from the concentrations at the beginning of painful crises (P = 0.34). Importantly, in 12 regularly exchanged sicklers, the mean pre-transfusion NOx concentration did not differ significantly from the control population (P = 0.52), suggesting that the changes in NO metabolism can be reversed. It is unlikely that the increased concentrations of NOx in SCD result from anaemia or haemolysis as the untransfused haemoglobin E/beta-thalassaemics did not show increased levels.

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