The association of nocturnal hypoxia and an echocardiographic measure of pulmonary hypertension in children with sickle cell disease

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Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is multifactorial in origin and may develop early in children with sickle cell disease (C-SCD). Potential etiologies are hemolysis-induced endothelial dysfunction, left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, and chronic hypoxia. Nocturnal hypoxia (NH) in C-SCD is known to be a sequela of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The primary objective of this study is to correlate polysomnographic evidence NH with echocardiographic measures of PH in C-SCD. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of 20 C-SCD (Hemoglobin SS), who had polysomnography and echocardiogram performed within a narrow time interval, and 31% of them had pre-existing cardiac conditions. Tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (TRJV) ≥ 2.5 m/s was considered as an indicator of PH. Results: Twenty-five percent of the subjects had NH. Forty percent of C-SCD, predominantly male, had evidence of PH based on an elevated TRJV. Children with NH compared to non-NH had significantly worse baseline hypoxemia (p < 0.001), higher TRJV (p = 0.005), and higher LV end-diastolic diameters (p = 0.009). The severity of NH was influenced by OSA. However, PH was not associated with OSA or duration of hydroxyurea therapy. Conclusion: Our study indicates that NH is associated with PH in C-SCD, and that screening for NH may help to identify C-SCD with higher morbidity risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-510
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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