Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is a common complication and reason for hospital admission in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). It is also the most common cause of death in this patient population. Most of the time, the trigger for ACS in an individual patient cannot be identified. However, although infection is the most common identifiable cause for ACS, other important triggers are vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) and asthma. This comprehensive review will focus on the pathogenesis, clinical characteristics, complications and treatment available to manage ACS. But importantly, this review will highlight new possible etiologies, with the goal of improving oxygenation and, therefore, a reduction in sickling and lung damage in this patient population.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.