Widespread Pain Among Youth With Sickle Cell Disease Hospitalized With Vasoocclusive Pain: A Different Clinical Phenotype?

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The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical phenotype of widespread pain (WSP) among youth with sickle cell disease (SCD) hospitalized with vasoocclusive pain.

Materials and Methods:

One hundred fifty-six youth with SCD, between 7 and 21 years of age hospitalized at 4 children’s hospitals for a vasoocclusive episode were evaluated. Data were collected during 1 day of the hospitalization.


Using the 2010 American College of Rheumatology guidelines, 21.8% of patients were identified as having WSP (pain in 7 or more unique body locations). Patients classified as having WSP had higher pain intensity (6.5 vs. 5.6; t=2.19, P=0.03) higher pain burden (13.0 vs. 9.8; t=3.09, P=0.002), higher acute functional disability (22.1 vs. 16.5; t=2.43, P=0.016), higher chronic functional disability (30.4 vs. 22.2; t=2.31, P=0.02), lower positive affect (22.9 vs. 27.6; t=2.23, P=0.027), and lower quality of life (56.2 vs. 62.9; t=1.99, P=0.049) than those youth with SCD without WSP.


Assessment of WSP may identify a unique clinical phenotype of youth with SCD with differing treatment needs.

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