Cardiovascular features in adolescents and adults with sickle cell anaemia.
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Fifty five sickle cell anaemia (SCA) patients at the Kenyatta National Hospital were studied with a view to elucidating their cardiovascular status. Their age range was 13 to 27 years (median 18.9 years). They comprised 27 males and 28 females and their mean haemoglobin concentration was 8.5 +/- 1.4 g/dl. Haemoglobin level of 8.0-9.9 g/dl seen in 30 patients was noted to confer the lowest incidence of exertional dyspnoea and palpitation. Similarly, patients with this haemoglobin level had the lowest mean heart rate. The mean blood pressure was 114.9 +/- 9.9 mmHg systolic and 64.6 +/- 10 mmHg diastolic. Blood pressures, ejection fraction (EF) and differential fibre shortening (%D) were found to be directly related to haemoglobin level, whereas cardio-thoracic index (CTI) and left ventricular dimensions were inversely related to haemoglobin level. Mean echocardiographic measurements were within normal limits and left ventricular functions were found to be normal in 80.9% of the patients indicating that the majority of SCA patients at the Kenyatta National Hospital have good cardiac function