Acute pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2014 Mar;15(1):13-6. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Oct 31.


Acute pulmonary problems in sickle cell disease (SCD) patients, in particular acute chest syndrome (ACS), cause significant mortality and morbidity. It is important to differentiate ACS from pneumonia to avoid inappropriate or inadequate treatment. Asthma may increase the risk of ACS and co-morbid asthma and SCD are associated with worse patient outcomes and, in preclinical models, more severe inflammation. Recurrent wheezing, however, can occur in the absence of a diagnosis of asthma; it is likely due to SCD related inflammation and additional therapies than those that treat asthma may be required. Further research is merited to clarify these issues.

Keywords: Acute chest syndrome; Asthma; Recurrent wheeze; Sickle cell disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*