Increased levels of the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein at baseline are associated with childhood sickle cell vasocclusive crises

Br J Haematol. 2010 Mar;148(5):797-804. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.08013.x. Epub 2009 Dec 8.


Several lines of evidence suggest that sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with a chronic inflammatory state. In this study of 70 children with SCD at steady state evaluated by a broad panel of biomarkers representing previously examined mechanisms of pathogenicity in SCD, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a marker of low-grade, systemic inflammation, emerged as the most significant laboratory correlate of hospitalizations for pain or vaso-occlusive (VOC) events. While markers of increased haemolytic status, endothelial activation and coagulation activation all correlated positively with VOC events by univariate analysis, baseline hs-CRP levels provided the most significant contribution to the association in multiple regression models (22%), and, hs-CRP, along with age, provided the best fit in negative binomial models. These data highlight the clinical relevance of the role of inflammation in paediatric VOC, providing both a rationale for future therapeutic strategies targeting inflammation in microvessel occlusive complications of SCD, and the potential clinical use of hs-CRP as a biomarker in childhood SCD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / blood*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood*
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein