Association between Oxidative Stress, Genetic Factors, and Clinical Severity in Children with Sickle Cell Anemia

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ObjectivesTo investigate the associations between several sickle cell disease genetic modifiers (beta-globin haplotypes, alpha-thalassemia, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency) and the level of oxidative stress and to evaluate the association between oxidative stress and the rates of vaso-occlusive events.Study designSteady-state oxidative and nitrosative stress markers, biological variables, genetic modulators, and vaso-occlusive crisis events requiring emergency admissions were measured during a 2-year period in 62 children with sickle cell anemia (58 SS and 4 Sβ0). Twelve ethnic-matched children without sickle cell anemia also participated as healthy controls (AA) for oxidative and nitrosative stress level measurement.ResultsOxidative and nitrosative stress were greater in patients with sickle cell anemia compared with control patients, but the rate of vaso-occlusive crisis events in sickle cell anemia was not associated with the level of oxidative stress. The presence of alpha-thalassemia, but not glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency or beta-globin haplotype, modulated the level of oxidative stress in children with sickle cell anemia.ConclusionMild hemolysis in children with alpha-thalassemia may limit oxidative stress and could explain the protective role of alpha-thalassemia in hemolysis-related sickle cell complications.

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