Asthma, allergic sensitization and lung function in sickle cell disease

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Andrea Angel
Gustavo Falbo Wandalsen
Dirceu Solé
Fernanda C. Lanza
Carolina L.N. Cobra
Cintia Johnston
Josefina Aparecida Pellegrini Braga


Sickle cell disease, Asthma, Allergic sensitization, Lung function


Background: Pulmonary disease is a frequent acute and chronic manifestation in sickle cell disease (SCD), presenting high morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To identify the prevalence and association of asthma, allergic sensitization and altered pulmonary function in patients with SCD (SS and Sβo).

Methods: A single-center, cross-sectional study was conducted, in which 70 patients with SCD and 44 controls, aged six to 18 years, responded to the questionnaire of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), complemented with an anamnesis regarding the associated clinical outcomes. All patients underwent immediate hypersensitivity skin tests with aeroallergens and a pulmonary function evaluation (spirometry). Regarding the statistical analysis, parametric and non parametric methods were used, depending on the variables studied. Tests were considered significant when p < 0.05.

Results: There was no significant difference between the patients and controls regarding the prevalence of asthma and allergic sensitization (p > 0.05). The number of occurrences of acute chest syndrome per patient per year was significantly higher for asthmatic patients than for nonasthmatic patients (p = 0.04). Obstructive pulmonary function occurred in 30.9% of the patients and in 5.4% of the controls, and restrictive pulmonary function occurred in 5.5% of the patients and 5.4% of the controls. Asthma and wheezing in the last 12 months had significant associations with obstructive pulmonary function (p = 0.014 and p = 0.027, respectively).

Conclusions: The occurrence of asthma, allergic sensitization and alteration in lung function in patients with SCD reinforces the importance of routine monitoring of these diagnoses, which allows for early treatment and prevention of the evolution of pulmonary disease in adulthood.

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