Clinical and Laboratory Predictors of Frequency of Painful Crises among Sickle Cell Anaemia Patients in Nigeria EC22-EC25
Dr. Angela Ogechukwu Ugwu,
Lecturer/Consultant, Department of Haematology/Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria.
Introduction: The severity of Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) in terms of frequency of painful Vaso-Occlusive Crises (VOC) may be affected by clinical and haematological parameters amongst others. Elucidation of these factors in a given disease prevalent environment is necessary for prompt and effective management of patients with frequent painful VOC.
Aim: This study aimed at determining the clinical and laboratory predictors of frequency of painful VOC among SCA patients in Enugu, Southeastern Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study of 100 consecutive SCA patients receiving care at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria between May 2012 and February 2014. The eligible patients were categorized into two groups namely; Group A and Group B. Group A/study group (severe disease) comprised SCA patients who had experienced three or more painful crises (=3 crises) in the last one year preceding the study but, currently in steady state, while Group B/control group (mild–moderate disease), comprised SCA patients matched for age, sex, highest educational status, and occupation but who have had no painful crisis or had only one or two painful crises (0–2 crises) in the last one year preceding the study and currently in steady state.
Results: The overall mean age of the patients was 18.4±12.2 (range=2-52) years. The mean values of the haematological parameters including haemoglobin concentration, white cell count, platelet count, and neutrophil count were significantly higher in those with severe crises than mild-moderate crises (p<0.05). Sickle cell related complications including Avascular Necrosis (AVN) and leg ulcers were significantly higher in the study group than the control group (p<0.05).
Conclusion: There was significant association between the frequency of crises and haemogblobin level, platelet and neutrophil counts and some clinical parameters: AVN, nephropathy and stroke. Future preventive interventions for reduction in frequency of crisis amongst patients with SCA could be targeted at controlling the blood levels of the identified haematological parameters.