Cardiopulmonary complications remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in sickle cell disease (SCD). The overall goals of this study were to evaluate the relationship between left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and laboratory markers of hemolysis and determine the association between LVH and SCD-specific therapies (Hydroxyurea and Chronic red cell transfusion). Data from DISPLACE (Dissemination and Implementation of Stroke Prevention Looking at the Care Environment) study cohort was used. LVH was defined based on the left ventricular mass indexed to the body surface area as left ventricular mass index > 103.0 g/m2 for males and >84.2 g/m2 for females.
There were 1409 children included in the analysis and 20.3% had LVH. Results of multivariable analysis of LVH showed baseline hemoglobin levels were associated with the lower odds of having LVH (OR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.60 - 0.84). The odds of LVH increases for every one-year increase in age (OR: 1.07, 95%CI: 1.02-1.13). Similarly, the odds of LVH were lower among males than females (OR: 0.59, 95%CI: 0.38-0.93). The odds of LVH were higher among those on hydroxyurea compared to no therapy (OR: 1.83, 95% CI: 1.41 - 2.37). Overall results of the study showed that LVH occurs early in children with SCD and the risk increases with increasing age and with lower hemoglobin. Further, we found higher use of hydroxyurea among those with LVH, suggesting that the need for hydroxyurea conveys a risk of cardiovascular remodeling.
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