Sleep pathology characterization in sickle cell disease: Case–control study

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Children and adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD) have a higher incidence of sleep pathology and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The nocturnal hypoxemia is a risk to vaso-occlusive crisis among other SCD morbidities. Our aim was to compare polysomnography (PSG) results in a sample of children with SCD with a sample of children with suspected OSAS without SCD.

Design and Methods:

A retrospective study compared clinical and PSG parameters. A descriptive analysis and t-test were done considering P < 0.05 as significant.


PSG was done in 65 children with SCD and 65 control-children. Control sample was selected to be equal to SCD sample considering gender (53.8% were male), age (mean age was 9.4 years (SD ± 4.6) and AHI (mean 3.57 events/hr).


Mean efficiency, latency and percentage of sleep phases in both groups showed no statistically significant differences. Mean SpO2 and minimum SpO2 were lower in SCD group and it was statistically significant (P < 0.01). Enuresis was more frequent in the SCD children group (35.4% vs. 6.2%, P < 0.01).


Comparing children with and without SCD, sleep architecture was similar in both groups and minimum SpO2 was significantly lower in SCD children although both groups had a similar AHI. This is an important issue in these children, so it is essential to have a sleep evaluation in order to prevent complications and co-morbidities. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2015; 50:396–401. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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