Which prognostic factors predict an adverse outcome in sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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The following prognostic factors have been identified as predictors of an adverse outcome [25] :

  • Hand-foot syndrome (dactylitis) in infants younger than 1 year
  • Hb level of less than 7 g/dL
  • Leukocytosis in the absence of infection

Hand-foot syndrome, which affects children younger than 5 years, has proved a strong predictor of overall severity (ie, death, risk of stroke, high pain rate, recurrent acute chest syndrome). Those that have an episode before age 1 year are at high risk of a severe clinical course. The risk is further increased if the child's baseline hemoglobin level is less than 7 g/dL or the baseline WBC count is elevated.

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