Which cardiac complications may be present 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

The heart is involved due to chronic anemia and microinfarcts. Hemolysis and blood transfusion lead to hemosiderin deposition in the myocardium. Both ventricles and the left atrium are all dilated.

A study by Nicholson et al also indicated that coronary artery dilation is common in children with SCD. The prevalence of coronary artery ectasia in patients with SCD was 17.7%, compared with 2.3% for the general population. [34] Furthermore, a systolic murmur is usually present, with wide radiation over the precordium.


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