Sickle cell disease (SCD) produces many structural and functional abnormalities in the kidney, including glomerular abnormalities. Albuminuria is the most common manifestation of glomerular damage, with a prevalence between 26 and 68% in adult patients. The pathophysiology of albuminuria in SCD is likely multifactorial, with contributions from hyperfiltration, glomerular hypertension, ischemia-reperfusion injury, oxidative stress, decreased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, and endothelial dysfunction. Although its natural history in SCD remains inadequately defined, albuminuria is associated with increased echocardiography-derived tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity, systemic blood pressure, and hypertension, as well as history of stroke, suggesting a shared vasculopathic pathophysiology. While most patients with albuminuria are treated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers, there are no published long-term data on the efficacy of these agents. With the improved patient survival following kidney transplantation, SCD patients with end-stage renal disease should be considered for this treatment modality. Given the high prevalence of albuminuria and its association with multiple SCD-related clinical complications, additional studies are needed to answer several clinically important questions in a bid to adequately elucidate its pathophysiology, natural history, and treatment.
© 2014 The Authors American Journal of Hematology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.