Bacterial meningitis and septicemia in sickle cell disease

Am J Dis Child. 1977 Jul;131(7):784-7. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120200066014.


A total of 422 patients with sickle cell disorders have been observed for 3,442 patient years. During this period, 53 episodes of septicemia or meningitis occurred, indicating a risk of 12.5% from these infections for each individual. If only patients with SS hemoglobinopathy (sickle cell anemia) (323 patients) are considered, the risk was 15.2%. The case fatality ratios for sepsis and meningitis were 35% and 10%, respectively. Disease due to Streptococcus pneumoniae occurred, almost exclusively, among children with SS hemoglobinopathy who were less than 5 years of age. After the first decade, illnesses among patients with all types of sickle cell disorders were frequently associated with an identifiable source of infection, a chronic course, and frequent involvement of Gram-negative organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / mortality
  • California
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Meningitis / complications*
  • Meningitis / microbiology
  • Meningitis / mortality
  • Meningitis, Haemophilus / complications
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Infections / complications*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / mortality
  • Sepsis / complications*
  • Sepsis / mortality