Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) are occasionally prescribed systemic corticosteroids to treat steroid-responsive conditions. Additionally, use of systemic corticosteroids for sickle cell pain episodes and acute chest syndrome is under investigation. We report 4 patients with SCD who developed severe vaso-occlusive events following the administration of systemic steroids. We also review similar cases from the literature and suggest measures for reducing the potential risk associated with use of systemic corticosteroids in this group of patients. We conclude that corticosteroids should be used with caution in patients with SCD.
Keywords: adverse events; bone; corticosteroids; sickle cell anemia; vaso-occlusion.
© 2008 National Medical Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.