Sickle Cell Disease: A Primer for Primary Care Providers

Pediatr Ann. 2020 Jan 1;49(1):e43-e49. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20191210-01.


Sickle cell disease is an autosomal recessive disorder with significant global impact. This disorder causes the production of a dysfunctional hemoglobin, which leads to sickling of erythrocytes and ultimately hemolysis, endothelial dysfunction, vaso-occlusion, and sterile inflammation. These cellular level processes produce end-organ changes that ultimately result in specific risks and preventive care needs, unique emergency situations, and long-term complications for patients. Options for the treatment of sickle cell disease are increasing. Thus far, hydroxyurea is the most proven treatment and has been shown to reduce vaso-occlusive crises in children and adults and preserve organ function. Other therapies, both disease modifying and curative, are emerging and will hopefully have a substantial effect in the near future. [Pediatr Ann. 2020;49(1):e43-e49.].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / therapy*
  • Antisickling Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyurea / therapeutic use
  • Primary Health Care*


  • Antisickling Agents
  • Hydroxyurea