alexa Clinicopathologic analysis of cardiac dysfunction in 52 patients with sickle cell anemia.
Cardiology

Cardiology

Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

Author(s): Gerry JL, Bulkley BH, Hutchins GM

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Abstract Clinical studies have long suggested the presence of a specific cardiomyopathy in sickle cell anemia secondary to intracoronary thrombosis and subsequent infarction. Fifty-two autopsy patients were studied (48 with SS hemoglobin, 4 with S-C or S-Thal hemoglobin) to ascertain the range of cardiac pathologic abnormalities associated with this disease. The average age was 17 years (range 1 month to 48 years). Renal failure and infection were the most common causes of death; the former was a more common cause in adults than in children. Right and left ventricular hypertrophy and dilatation were the most common abnormal pathologic findings. No evidence of recent or remote myocardial infarction, coronary thrombosis or arteritis was noted in any patient. Eight patients who were studied with postmortem coronary arteriograms exhibited markedly increased coronary arterial caliber with no evidence of atherosclerosis. Seventeen of the 52 patients studied had clinical evidence of congestive heart failure before death. Of these 17 patients, 7 had moderate to severe left ventricular hypertrophy associated with chronic renal failure and hypertension, 2 had right ventricular hypertrophy with organized pulmonary thrombosis, 2 had rheumatic mitral valve disease and 2 died during the second trimester of pregnancy. Two of the 17 patients thought to have pulmonary edema before death in fact had aspiration pneumonia and hemorrhagic pneumonitis, respectively. The data suggest that cardiac dysfunction in sickle cell anemia can usually be explained by the adverse effect of coexisting disease on the diminished cardiac reserve of chronic anemia. The data do not support the concept of a specific "sickle cell cardiomyopathy".
This article was published in Am J Cardiol and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

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