Prognostic Value of Hyponatremia During Acute Painful Episodes in Sickle Cell Disease

Am J Med. 2020 Sep;133(9):e465-e482. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.02.017. Epub 2020 Mar 19.


Background: Low plasma sodium concentration has been recognized as a prognostic factor in several disorders but never evaluated in sickle cell disease. The present study evaluates its value at admission to predict a complication in adult patients with sickle cell disease hospitalized for an initially uncomplicated acute painful episode.

Methods: The primary outcome of this retrospective study, performed between 2010 and 2015 in a French referral center for sickle cell disease, was a composite criterion including acute chest syndrome, intensive care unit transfer, red blood cell transfusion or inpatient death. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, hemoglobin genotype and concentration, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentration, and white blood cell count.

Results: We included 1218 stays (406 patients). No inpatient death occurred during the study period. Hyponatremia (plasma sodium ≤135 mmol/L) at admission in the center was associated with the primary outcome (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-2.91, P = 0.001), with acute chest syndrome (OR 1.95 [95% CI 1.2-3.17, P = 0.008]), and red blood cell transfusion (OR 2.71 [95% CI 1.58-4.65, P <0.001]) but not significantly with intensive care unit transfer (OR 1.83 [95% CI 0.94-3.79, P = 0.074]). Adjusted mean length of stay was longer by 1.1 days (95% CI 0.5-1.6, P <0.001) in patients with hyponatremia at admission.

Conclusions: Hyponatremia at admission in the medical department for an acute painful episode is a strong and independent prognostic factor of unfavorable outcome and, notably, acute chest syndrome. It could help targeting patients who may benefit from closer monitoring.

Keywords: Acute chest syndrome; Hyponatremia; Pain; Prognosis; Sickle cell anemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications*
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia / complications*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sodium / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Sodium