Echocardiographic abnormalities in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) were determined, and pulmonary arterial systolic pressure (PASP) was estimated. Clinical data and echocardiograms of 38 adult hospitalized patients with SCD at two tertiary care hospitals were reviewed. Fisher's exact test was performed to determine correlation between pulmonary hypertension and various clinical variables. Pulmonary hypertension was the most common abnormality identified in 22 (58%) patients. The estimated mean PASP was 37.5 +/- 10.9 mmHg. Older age and prior history of acute chest syndrome were significantly correlated with an increased prevalence of pulmonary hypertension (P < 0.05). Patients with hemoglobin levels <8 g/dL had PASP 43.2 +/- 0.5 compared to a mean PASP of 33.3 +/- 6.0 in patients with hemoglobin > or =8 g/dL (P = 0.01). Eight (21%) patients had evidence of a hyperdynamic left ventricle. Left heart abnormalities included dilated atrium in 14 (37%), dilated ventricle in 5 (13%), ventricle hypertrophy in 5 (13%), and ventricle dysfunction in 3 (9%) patients. Right heart abnormalities included dilated atrium in 9 (24%), dilated ventricle in 6 (16%), and ventricle dysfunction in 3 (9%) patients. Despite an increased incidence of abnormal flow across the valves on Doppler analysis, no patient had structurally abnormal valves. A majority of patients with SCD had evidence of pulmonary hypertension, which correlated with older age and history of acute chest syndrome. Other structural and functional echocardiographic abnormalities were less common.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.