Effective control of sickle cell disease with hydroxyurea therapy

Indian J Pharmacol. 2010 Feb;42(1):32-5. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.62409.


Objective: Hemoglobin F augmentation is another approach to treat sickle cell disease (SCD). This study evaluates the efficacy and impact of Hydroxyurea (HU) on fetal hemoglobin (HbF) and other hematological parameters, which result in decreasing the painful crisis and lower hospital admissions.

Materials and methods: A prospective study was carried out in the Department of Medicine, Government Medical College, Jagdalpur. Twenty-seven patients with SCD received HU at a mean dose of 22 mg/kg/d. The baseline results were analyzed and compared with the post treatment result, at the end of one year.

Statistics: Student's t-test was used to determine the level of significance.

Results: Twenty-four patients completed a one-year period successfully; a significant increase was noted in the mean HbF%, from 12.83 to 19.17, and the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) from 82.57 to 89.87 Fl. The mean hospital admission (numbers) in the last one year decreased from 4.75 to 2.25 and the mean number of SCD crisis for the last one year decreased significantly from 3.63 to 1.67.

Conclusion: We found a significant reduction in hospital admissions, a reduction in the overall sickle cell crisis and an associated improvement in HbF% without any significant side effects in the patients with SCD, treated with HU.

Keywords: Fetal hemoglobin; Hydroxyurea; Sickle cell anemia; Sickle cell disease.