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Correlation between maxillofacial radiographic features and systemic severity as sickle cell disease severity predictor


This study was conducted to investigate the relationship among radiographic features observed on panoramic radiographs of sickle cell disease patients and analyze their relationship with history of systemic severity of the disease. Panoramic radiographs of 71 subjects with sickle cell disease were evaluated for the presence of the following radiographic bony alterations: radiopaque areas, increased spacing of bony trabeculae, horizontal arrangement of bony trabeculae and corticalization of mandibular canal. History of clinical systemic severity was assessed through direct questioning about the frequency of vaso-occlusive crisis, history of stroke, clinical jaundice, femur head necrosis, and leg ulceration. Chi-square or Fisher’s exact test were applied in order to analyze possible associations between radiographic features and history of complications, with p < 0.05 significance level. Increased spacing of bony trabeculae was statistically associated with absence of corticalization of mandibular canal (p < 0.01) and horizontal arrangement of bony trabeculae (p = 0.04). Statistically significant associations were demonstrated between history of clinical jaundice and presence of increased spacing of bony trabeculae (p = 0.02) and between history of stroke and presence of horizontal arrangement of bony trabeculae (p = 0.04). Based on the results of the current study, maxillofacial radiographic features may be associated with clinical parameters of systemic complications in sickle cell disease patients. The relationship between radiographic features and history of complications associated with clinical severity of sickle cell disease has not been demonstrated in the literature. Acknowledgment of such possible association may help establish prognosis and influence clinical treatment of systemic and oral complications.

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We are thankful to Professor Marilda Souza Gonçalves for carrying out the electrophoresis examinations in the Laboratory of Specialized Analysis in Hematology of School of Pharmacy of Federal University of Bahia. This study was supported by the Research Foundation of the State of Bahia (FAPESB).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Maria Isabela Guimarães Campos.

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Neves, F.S., Passos, C.P., Oliveira-Santos, C. et al. Correlation between maxillofacial radiographic features and systemic severity as sickle cell disease severity predictor. Clin Oral Invest 16, 827–833 (2012).

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  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Trabecular pattern
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Systemic complications
  • Radiographic features