A reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying the cardiac complications of sickle cell anemia

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Abstract

Anemia, hemolysis-driven vasculopathy, and intrinsic myocardial injury have been proposed as predisposing factors to cardiac disease in sickle cell anemia (SCA). The individual impact of these mechanisms on the cardiac features of SCA and the way they influence complications such as sudden death and dysrhythmias have been unclear. Recent findings of an acquired restrictive SCA-related cardiomyopathy, driven by myocardial fibrosis, may explain some of these cardiac features. Given the complexity of cardiac pathology in SCA, using additional parameters to tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (left atrial volume, diastolic parameters, NT-proBNP) may improve the accuracy of noninvasive screening for cardiopulmonary complications in SCA.

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