Arterial blood pressure and hyperviscosity in sickle cell disease

Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2005 Oct;19(5):827-37, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.hoc.2005.08.006.


Abnormal rheologic behavior of sickle cells is the result of increased viscosity of the blood caused by the polymerization of hemoglobin S and the resultant production of dense, dehydrated sickle erythrocytes. As the viscosity of sickle cells increases, there is a negative impact on blood flow, which contributes to the vascular occlusion process, the hallmark of the sickling disorders. Blood flow is directly proportional to the blood pressure and inversely proportional to the blood viscosity. Blood flow has important implications for the diagnosis and management of hypertension in sickle cell patients and for transfusion therapy for the acute and chronic complications of this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / blood*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / physiopathology*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / therapy
  • Blood Flow Velocity*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Blood Viscosity*
  • Humans