, Volume 88, Issue 8, pp 785-788
Date: 24 Dec 2008

Does regular blood transfusion prevent progression of cerebrovascular lesions in children with sickle cell disease?

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Abstract

A retrospective study was conducted to assess changes in cerebrovascular lesions, as assessed by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and angiography in 18 children with sickle cell disease (SCD) receiving optimised chronic transfusions for primary stroke prevention (abnormal transcranial Doppler flow, nine patients, median follow-up 14.3 months (range, 7.9–48.9)) or secondary stroke prevention (nine patients, median follow-up 59.6 months (range, 11.0–127.9)). An experienced neuroradiologist blinded to patient data reviewed the 41 MR scans (median/patient, three (2–4)). Standard scores were used to evaluate parenchymal and vascular abnormalities at baseline and last follow-up. Within-patient score changes evaluated using Wilcoxon’s paired rank test indicated lesion progression in the secondary-prevention group (p = 0.027). Optimised transfusion therapy does not prevent progression of cerebral vasculopathy in SCD children with a history of stroke.

Financial support: No financial assistance was received in support of this study.