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Concept: Sickle


STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine whether patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) experience longer wait times to see a physician after arrival to an emergency department (ED) compared to patients with long bone fracture and patients presenting with all other possible conditions (General Patient Sample), and to attempt to disentangle the effects of race and disease status on any observed differences. METHODS: A cross-sectional, comparative analysis of year 2003 through 2008 data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, a nationally representative sample of nonfederal emergency department visits in the United States. Our primary outcome was wait time (in minutes) to see a physician after arrival to an ED. A generalized linear model was used to examine ratios of wait times comparing SCD visits to the two comparison groups. RESULTS: SCD patients experienced wait times 25% longer than the General Patient Sample, though this difference was explained by the African-American race of the SCD patients. SCD patients waited 50% longer than did patients with long bone fracture even after accounting for race and assigned triage priority. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with SCD presenting to an ED for care experience longer wait times than other groups, even after accounting for assigned triage level. The African-American race of the SCD patients, and their status as having SCD itself, both appear to contribute to longer wait times for these patients. These data confirm patient anecdotal reports and are in need of intervention.

Concepts: Health care provider, Bone fracture, Patient, Hospital, United States, Physician, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle


Sickle cell disease and β-thalassaemia are inherited haemoglobinopathies resulting in structural and quantitative changes in the β-globin chain. These changes lead to instability of the generated haemoglobin or to globin chain imbalance, which in turn impact the oxidative environment both intracellularly and extracellularly. The ensuing oxidative stress and the inability of the body to adequately overcome it are, to a large extent, responsible for the pathophysiology of these diseases. This article provides an overview of the main players and control mechanisms involved in the establishment of oxidative stress in these haemoglobinopathies.

Concepts: Hemoglobin, Disease, Death, Red blood cell, Control theory, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle, The Establishment


Stroke is a major complication of sickle cell anaemia (SCA). It occurs commonly in childhood with about 10 % of children with sickle cell anaemia getting affected by this complication. In Uganda, there is paucity of data on the prevalence of stroke in children admitted in a tertiary institution. We determined the prevalence of stroke amongst children with SCA admitted to Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda and described the ir co-morbidities.

Concepts: Red blood cell, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle, Anemias


Background The up-regulation of P-selectin in endothelial cells and platelets contributes to the cell-cell interactions that are involved in the pathogenesis of vaso-occlusion and sickle cell-related pain crises. The safety and efficacy of crizanlizumab, an antibody against the adhesion molecule P-selectin, were evaluated in patients with sickle cell disease. Methods In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial, we assigned patients to receive low-dose crizanlizumab (2.5 mg per kilogram of body weight), high-dose crizanlizumab (5.0 mg per kilogram), or placebo, administered intravenously 14 times over a period of 52 weeks. Patients who were receiving concomitant hydroxyurea as well as those not receiving hydroxyurea were included in the study. The primary end point was the annual rate of sickle cell-related pain crises with high-dose crizanlizumab versus placebo. The annual rate of days hospitalized, the times to first and second crises, annual rates of uncomplicated crises (defined as crises other than the acute chest syndrome, hepatic sequestration, splenic sequestration, or priapism) and the acute chest syndrome, and patient-reported outcomes were also assessed. Results A total of 198 patients underwent randomization at 60 sites. The median rate of crises per year was 1.63 with high-dose crizanlizumab versus 2.98 with placebo (indicating a 45.3% lower rate with high-dose crizanlizumab, P=0.01). The median time to the first crisis was significantly longer with high-dose crizanlizumab than with placebo (4.07 vs. 1.38 months, P=0.001), as was the median time to the second crisis (10.32 vs. 5.09 months, P=0.02). The median rate of uncomplicated crises per year was 1.08 with high-dose crizanlizumab, as compared with 2.91 with placebo (indicating a 62.9% lower rate with high-dose crizanlizumab, P=0.02). Adverse events that occurred in 10% or more of the patients in either active-treatment group and at a frequency that was at least twice as high as that in the placebo group were arthralgia, diarrhea, pruritus, vomiting, and chest pain. Conclusions In patients with sickle cell disease, crizanlizumab therapy resulted in a significantly lower rate of sickle cell-related pain crises than placebo and was associated with a low incidence of adverse events. (Funded by Selexys Pharmaceuticals and others; SUSTAIN number, NCT01895361 .).

Concepts: Time, Clinical trial, Medical terms, Red blood cell, Placebo, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle, Priapism


Sickle cell disease results from a homozygous missense mutation in the β-globin gene that causes polymerization of hemoglobin S. Gene therapy for patients with this disorder is complicated by the complex cellular abnormalities and challenges in achieving effective, persistent inhibition of polymerization of hemoglobin S. We describe our first patient treated with lentiviral vector-mediated addition of an antisickling β-globin gene into autologous hematopoietic stem cells. Adverse events were consistent with busulfan conditioning. Fifteen months after treatment, the level of therapeutic antisickling β-globin remained high (approximately 50% of β-like-globin chains) without recurrence of sickle crises and with correction of the biologic hallmarks of the disease. (Funded by Bluebird Bio and others; HGB-205 number, NCT02151526 .).

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Mutation, Red blood cell, Point mutation, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle


Five classical designations of sickle haplotypes are made on the basis of the presence or absence of restriction sites and are named after the ethno-linguistic groups or geographic regions from which the individuals with sickle cell anemia originated. Each haplotype is thought to represent an independent occurrence of the sickle mutation rs334 (c.20A>T [p.Glu7Val] in HBB). We investigated the origins of the sickle mutation by using whole-genome-sequence data. We identified 156 carriers from the 1000 Genomes Project, the African Genome Variation Project, and Qatar. We classified haplotypes by using 27 polymorphisms in linkage disequilibrium with rs334. Network analysis revealed a common haplotype that differed from the ancestral haplotype only by the derived sickle mutation at rs334 and correlated collectively with the Central African Republic (CAR), Cameroon, and Arabian/Indian haplotypes. Other haplotypes were derived from this haplotype and fell into two clusters, one composed of Senegal haplotypes and the other composed of Benin and Senegal haplotypes. The near-exclusive presence of the original sickle haplotype in the CAR, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa is consistent with this haplotype predating the Bantu expansions. Modeling of balancing selection indicated that the heterozygote advantage was 15.2%, an equilibrium frequency of 12.0% was reached after 87 generations, and the selective environment predated the mutation. The posterior distribution of the ancestral recombination graph yielded a sickle mutation age of 259 generations, corresponding to 7,300 years ago during the Holocene Wet Phase. These results clarify the origin of the sickle allele and improve and simplify the classification of sickle haplotypes.

Concepts: Natural selection, French language, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle, Linkage disequilibrium, Central African Republic, Cameroon, African Union member states


Background Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder that is characterized by painful vaso-occlusive crises, for which there are few treatment options. Platelets mediate intercellular adhesion and thrombosis during vaso-occlusion in sickle cell anemia, which suggests a role for antiplatelet agents in modifying disease events. Methods Children and adolescents 2 through 17 years of age with sickle cell anemia were randomly assigned to receive oral prasugrel or placebo for 9 to 24 months. The primary end point was the rate of vaso-occlusive crisis, a composite of painful crisis or acute chest syndrome. The secondary end points were the rate of sickle cell-related pain and the intensity of pain, which were assessed daily with the use of pain diaries. Results A total of 341 patients underwent randomization at 51 sites in 13 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The rate of vaso-occlusive crisis events per person-year was 2.30 in the prasugrel group and 2.77 in the placebo group (rate ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.66 to 1.05; P=0.12). There were no significant differences between the groups in the secondary end points of diary-reported events. The safety end points, including the frequency of bleeding events requiring medical intervention, of hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic adverse events that occurred while patients were taking prasugrel or placebo, and of discontinuations due to prasugrel or placebo, did not differ significantly between the groups. Conclusions Among children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia, the rate of vaso-occlusive crisis was not significantly lower among those who received prasugrel than among those who received placebo. There were no significant between-group differences in the safety findings. (Funded by Daiichi Sankyo and Eli Lilly; number, NCT01794000 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Blood, Red blood cell, Sickle-cell disease, Blood transfusion, Sickle, Vaso-occlusive crisis, Eli Lilly and Company


Chronic opioid therapy (COT) for chronic non-cancer pain is frequently debated, and its effectiveness is unproven in sickle cell disease (SCD). The authors conducted a descriptive study among 83 adult SCD patients and compared the severity of disease and pain symptoms among those who were prescribed COT (n=29) with those who were not using COT. All patients completed baseline laboratory pain assessment and questionnaires between January 2010 and June 2014. Thereafter, participants recorded daily pain, crises, function, and healthcare utilization for 90 days using electronic diaries. Analyses were conducted shortly after the final diary data collection period. Patients on COT did not differ on age, sex, or measures of disease severity. However, patients on COT exhibited greater levels of clinical pain (particularly non-crisis); central sensitization; and depression and increased diary measures of pain severity, function, and healthcare utilization on crisis and non-crisis diary days, as well as a greater proportion of days in crisis. Including depressive symptoms in multivariate models did not change the associations between COT and pain, interference, central sensitization, or utilization. Additionally, participants not on COT displayed the expected positive relationship between central sensitization and clinical pain, whereas those on COT demonstrated no such relationship, despite having both higher central sensitization and higher clinical pain. Overall, the results point out a high symptom burden in SCD patients on COT, including those on high-dose COT, and suggest that nociceptive processing in SCD patients on COT differs from those who are not.

Concepts: Medicine, Disease, Medical terms, Symptom, Pain, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle, Great Depression


Aneurysmal dilatation of the corpora cavernosa can occur because of recurrent priapism in the setting of sickle cell disease.

Concepts: Andrology, Erectile dysfunction, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle, Erection, Corpus cavernosum penis, Priapism


: Pain is the most common reason for admission to the Emergency Department (ED) in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). It can be associated with severe complications and impairs quality of life. Pain management in the ED should be well-defined and aggressive. The objective of this study was to evaluate pain management in the pediatric ED of a country recently facing SCD and to identify priority areas of intervention.

Concepts: Medicine, Life, Hospital, Management, Pain, Sickle-cell disease, Sickle, Dublin