Reticulocytosis and anemia are associated with an increased risk of death and stroke in the newborn cohort of the Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease


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Abstract

Prior analyses of the Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease (CSSCD) newborn cohort identified elevated white blood cell (WBC) count, low baseline hemoglobin and dactylitis between the ages of 1 and 2 years as markers of severe disease. Reticulocytosis was also associated with severe disease. Here, we further analyzed data collected on enrolled CSSCD infants for the predictive value of those markers for stroke and death later in life. Three hundred fifty-four CSSCD subjects were identified who had absolute reticulocyte counts (ARC) measured during infancy (2 to 6 months of age). Infants with higher ARC had significantly increased risk of stroke or death during childhood; lower hemoglobin levels also increased the risk but to a lesser degree than ARC. WBC levels and dactylitis were not predictive of death or stroke. These data suggest that reticulocytosis among asymptomatic infants with sickle cell anemia is associated with an increased risk of death or stroke during childhood. Am. J. Hematol. 89:904–906, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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