Oxygen saturation and hemoglobin a content in patients with sickle cell disease undergoing erythrocytapheresis

Thomas P. Nifong, Ronald Domen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Scopus citations


Severe hypoxia occurs in patients with acute chest syndrome, and erythrocytapheresis has been shown to improve oxygenation. Patients with sickle cell anemia also have decreased baseline oxygen saturation values, but the effect of erythrocytapheresis on steady-state oxygenation has not been well studied. We investigated the changes in oxygen saturation versus hematocrit, fraction of hemoglobin A, and transfusion volume during 71 prophylactic erythrocytapheresis procedures performed in 5 stable patients with sickle cell anemia. Each patient had a history of either acute chest syndrome or stroke, but no serious events occurred while enrolled in the chronic exchange program. The oxygen saturation improved from 1% to 6% during erythrocytapheresis in each of our patients (p < 0.001) regardless of preprocedure saturation level or total hematocrit. We have shown that decreased baseline oxygen saturation in sickle cell disease is related to abnormal hemoglobin S levels, and oxygen saturation can be improved with erythrocytapheresis, independent of any change in the total hematocrit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-393
Number of pages4
JournalTherapeutic Apheresis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2002


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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