What are the ASH guidelines on long-term monthly transfusion therapy for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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For patients with SCD and recurrent acute pain, ASH suggests against long-term monthly transfusion therapy as a first-line strategy to prevent or reduce recurrent acute pain episodes. However, the ASH guidelines note that in unique circumstances when all other measures to control recurrent pain episodes have failed (eg, hydroxyurea, other disease modifying therapies) and when shared decision making can be fully applied, a trial of monthly transfusions may be reasonable.

For patients with chronic pain from SCD, ASH chooses not to offer a recommendation for or against long-term monthly transfusion therapy as an option for pain management.

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