Pregnancy and sickle cell disease: A review of the current literature

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016 Feb;98:364-74. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2015.11.018. Epub 2015 Nov 27.


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common hereditary disease worldwide, presenting with anemia and intermittent severe pain. Pregnancy in a patient with SCD is associated with high levels of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality; the maternal and fetal death rates during pregnancy can attain 11.4% and 20%, respectively. Patient care has improved over time. However, certain management issues remain unresolved; these include the optimum policy in terms of prophylactic blood transfusion, and the use of antiplatelet drugs. Such issues are attributable to the heterogeneous nature of clinical SCD features, and the limitations of uncontrolled and prospective trials. In this review, we seek to facilitate a better understanding of relevant issues via creation of a comparative data profile extracted from current studies. This report may also encourage the drafting of standard operating procedure for management of pregnancy in SCD patients.

Keywords: Apheresis; Hemoglobin disorder; Pregnancy; Red cell exchange; Sickle cell disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / therapy*
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pain Management
  • Postnatal Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic / therapy*
  • Prenatal Care
  • Referral and Consultation