Sickle Cell

Claire Campbell
Slide Set by Claire Campbell, updated more than 1 year ago
Claire Campbell
Created by Claire Campbell over 4 years ago


Layout of Sickle Cell, common crises events, treatments

Resource summary

Slide 1

    Sickle Cell Definition and Pathophysiology
    Caused by a mutation in HgbS, with HgbSS (Sickle Cell Anemia) accounting for 60-65% of the associated hemoglobinopathies In normal Hgb A, the 6th position on the beta chain is glutamic acid. In sickle cell, it is replaced by valine.  This changes the RBC configuration to form microtubules that create a banana or crescent (sickled) RBC shape that can be brought about by certain extreme condition such as infection, dehydration  and extremes in temperature RBC lifespan is reduced from 120 days to 10-20 days. After repeated sickling episodes, RBCs become irreverisibly sickled Sickled RBCs bind to the vascular endothelium  leading to inflammation with leukocytosis, hemolysis with nitrous oxide deficiency, and vascular ischemia  WOODEN RAFTS IN CIRCULAR WATER SLIDE

Slide 2

    Sickle Cell Incidence/Genetics
    Mutation that developed in Western Africa as a response to malaria because morbidity and mortality markedly decreased in those who carry sickle cell trait and have disease, therefore it is most prevalent in areas where malaria is endemic Generally diagnosed through newborn screening (done in most states), affects 90,000-100,000 people in the US Autosomal recessive- 25% of Sickle Cell Disease, 50% chance of being a carrier (assuming both parents are carriers)

Slide 3

    Sickle Cell Initial Presentation
    Usually visible between 6-12 months as fetal Hgb is replaced with HgbS.  This is a CHRONIC disease with ACUTE exacerbations Consider that it affects oxygen getting to the body because the RBCs are malformed and unable to carry oxygen effectively and they do not last as well, so it can affect any part of the body.

Slide 4

    Sickle Cell Diagnosis
    Hemoglobin Electrophoresis is necessary for a definitive diagnosis of sickle cellOther common diagnostic tests include: CBC, CMP, LDH, Ferritin, U/A with protein/creatinine ratio and microalbumin, blood cultures CXR- in presence of respiratory sx, fever or both Abdominal U/S if gallstones are suspected TCD annually to assess risk for stroke in children with severe types of SCD Echo and EKG MRI of joints if avascular necrosis is suspected Pulmonary function testing (PFTs) Neuropsychological testing Opthalmologic testing

Slide 5

    Sickle Cell Treatment
    With the development of newborn screening, focus has become less about treating complications and become more about preventionProphylactic penicillin, immunizations (especially pnuemococcal) and family education established early Hydroxyurea for severe cases of SCD helps to stimulate production of fetal Hgb, increase nitrous oxide and decrease leukocytosis but needs close monitoring because of its myelosuppressive effects Regular RBC transfusions are warranted as treatment for patients with history of stroke, debilitating pain, severe and multiple episodes of ACS or recurrent priapism.

Slide 6

    Sickle Cell Future Therapies
    BMT is the only known cure for SCD and used to be reserved for the sickest patients with the best HLA matching Some studies are exploring the following use of unrelated donors as well as using nonmyeloablative methods to create a curative chimerism and decreasing toxicity Gene therapy Manipulation of the RBC to prevent the damage caused by the sickling process Other ways to increase fetal Hgb in the body

Slide 7

    Sickle Cell Acute Complications
    Fever/Infection The spleen suffers major infarction in the first 6-12 months due to lack of oxygen, putting patients with SCD at greater risk for pneumonia, bacteremia, and osteomyelitis SCD patients cannot produce specific immunoglobulin antibodies to polysaccharide-encapsulated organisms, particularly  Streptococcus pneumoniae (leading cause of death in children with SCD) Fever is a medical emergency and requires evaluation and broad spectrum abx

Slide 8

    Sickle Cell Acute Complications
    Pain Crisis/Vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC)Combination of the following: damage to the vascular endothelium vascular inflammation occlusion of blood vessels resulting in tissue ischemia Brought about by infection, stress, high altitude, exposure to the elements, strenuous exercise OR it is completely spontaneous"Hand-and-foot syndrome" (dactylitis) occurs in hands/feet of infants and young children, often the first presenting sign for SCD patientsTreatment of pain crisis includes: Increased fluids Analgesics- opiods and NSAIDs Consider past crises and effectiveness of pain management Consider cultural beliefs and family coping with pain mgmt Continually be assessing pain and efficacy of treatment plan

Slide 9

    Sickle Cell Acute Complications
    Acute Chest SyndromeRapid deterioration in respiratory function with potentially lethal complicationsGreatest incidence occurs in childrenMost common cause is fat/bone emboli and infection, almost always accompanied to some degree with sickling and lung ischemiaEtiology (depending on the cause) usually includes inflammation, pulmonary vascular occlusion, ventilation/perfusion mismatch, airway hyperactivity, and pulmonary edemaRisks include: Pneumonia Pain crisis Nursing interventions should include: Ambulation, incentive spirometry Monitoring pulse ox, respiratory status Treatment involves Antibiotics Supplemental oxygenation and bronchodilators Careful pain management with analgesics and fluids  Blood transfusions or exchange transfusion depending on severity of ACS

Slide 10

    Sickle Cell Acute Complications
    Splenic sequestrationSickled RBCs in the blood get trapped in the spleen leading to: Splenomegaly Rapid, severe drop in Hgb with compensatory rise in Reticulocyte count Drop in platelets as they get trapped in spleen as well Often associated with fever and infectionTreatment includes: Hydration CAUTIOUS TRANSFUSION- should be done conservatively to avoid autotransfusion  Autotransfusion- can occur when the transfused RBCs cause the spleen to release the trapped RBCs back into circulation, potentially leading to increase in the blood's viscosity and volume. Splenectomy may be necessary as sequestration is likely to recur

Slide 11

    Sickle Cell Acute Complications
    Aplastic CrisisOccurs as a result of parvovirus B19 infection or some other viral infection (but usually parvo)- also known as "Fifth Disease"Virus leads to temporary shut down of RBC production in bone marrow (reticulocytosis)Accompanied with the usual SCD hemolysis, leads to a severe drop in Hgb with an extremely low reticulocyte countTreatment:Slow and careful transfusion of RBCs to monitor for fluid overload in children who have compensated for 

Slide 12

    Sickle Cell Acute Complications
    Cerebral vascular accident or strokeSickling process causes inflammation of cerebral vessels combined with sticky, rigid sickle cells that obstruct blood flow to the brain leading to ischemia and infarction of the brain tissue which leads to permanent damage. First Goal: Stabilize the patientSecond Goal: Minimize further damage by rapidly decreasing percentage of Hgb S in the body, this is accomplished by exchange transfusions and should NOT be delayed if stroke is suspectedOther goals include: oxygenation and circulation support, radiologic evaluation (after patient is stabilized)

Slide 13

    Sickle Cell Acute Complications
    PriapismCan occur in children as young as 3 years of ageSickling leads to obstruction of the blood vessels in the penis,  leading to prolonged, unwanted and painful erectionIf not treated, can lead to impotenceTreatment includes: Aggressive hydration Vasodilation Pain management Exercise Exchange transfusion or surgical intervention by urologist may be necessary Pseudoephedrine or etilefrine have been found to be successful in prevention of priapism.

Slide 14

    Sickle Cell Chronic Complications
    RetinopathyOften seen with adolescents or adultsDue to sickling of the blood vessels of the retina, leading to inflammation, vaso-occlusion and ischemiaCollateral circulation develops but the blood vessels are fragile and have a tendency to hemorrhage and can cause retinal detachmentMay require treatment with laser surgeryCardiopulmonary ChangesCardiomegaly often results from chronic anemia and may cause EKG changes and eventually congestive heart disease if left untreatedPulmonary hypertension can lead to hemolysis, lack of nitric oxide bioavailability, and high mortality in SCD; those measurements of tricuspid regurgitation jet velocity that are considered "normal" for the rest of the population have been linked to a TENFOLD increase in sudden cardiac death in patients with SCDTreatments include Viagra, nitrous oxideDecreased pulmonary function and restrictive airway disease have been associated with Acute Chest Syndrome (ACS), Vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) and early death.

Slide 15

    Sickle Cell Chronic Complications
    Cholelithiasis (Gallstones)Hemolysis of RBCs leads to increase in bilirubin which can cause formation of gallstonesThis can cause the gallbladder to become inflamed and painful, leading to cholecystitisMay require cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)Avascular necrosisSickling can even effect the sinusoids of the marrow leading to "sludging" and thus causing  marrow necrosis in the ball-and-socket joints Over time, the ball part of the joint becomes rough and jagged and may even lead to a full collapse of the jointIn children, rest and PT may be enough to help them recover but adolescents and adults may progress to the point where replacement is the only viable optionLeg Ulcers10-15% of young adults, resulting from poor tissue perfusion to the legs (much like diabetes patients)Regular transfusion with RBCs usually helps to dilute sickle cells and promote healing

Slide 16

    Sickle Cell Chronic Complications
    Renal ImpairmentThe acidic and hypoxic environment of kidneys means that the sickling process can lead to significant damage of the glomeruliHyposthenuria, or the inability to concentrate urine, is usually the result and is often exhibited in children by nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) and it can contribute to dehydrationExtensive damage to glomeruli results in nephropathy which can progress to renal failure; dialysis and transplant are often inevitableDelayed Growth and maturationChronic anemia + high caloric need means delayed physical growth and pubertyHowever, early interventions with endocrinologist and nutritionist should be consideredImpaired cognitionPossibly caused by "silent" infarcts to the brain tissueAlso related to missed school from hospitalizations and chronic anemiaAnnual transcranial doppler (TCD) should be performed between ages 2 and 16 to assess increased risk for strokeEvaluation should be performed by trained neuropsychologist

Slide 17

    Sickle Cell Prognosis
    Average life span is 45-65 yearsThree findings are associated with more severe cases of SCD: Dactylitis before age 1 Consistently elevated WBC count Baseline Hgb of 7gm/dl or less Severity of the disease depends on the subtype inherited (See Table 11-1)The following are usually severe: HbSS Hb SS w/o fetal Hgb F Hb SC Hb S0-thalassemia
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