What triggers vaso-occlusive crises 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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Answer

Often, no precipitating cause can be identified. However, because deoxygenated hemoglobin S (HbS) becomes semisolid, the most likely physiologic trigger of vaso-occlusive crises is hypoxemia. This may be due to acute chest syndrome or accompany respiratory complications.


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