Children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) show signs of impaired pulmonary function compared with control subjects without SCA, new research finds.

The study was a systematic review and meta-analysis conducted by a research team led by Amar Taksande, MD, of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Wardha, Maharashta, India, with results reported in the PanAfrican Medical Journal.

It has been known that obstructive and restrictive pulmonary conditions are associated with morbidity and mortality in pediatric patients with SCA. “However, the pattern of abnormal lung function in SCA has been disputed,” Dr Taksande and colleagues wrote. They undertook an analysis of the literature to compare patterns of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in children with and without SCA, and to additionally examine whether hydroxyurea treatment impacted PFT results for children with SCA.

The researchers obtained information for their analysis from studies found through the Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science databases, with the most recent search conducted on August 20, 2020. Search terms included words or phrases related to respiratory or pulmonary function and sickle cell anemia. The analysis included reports that involved case-control studies including PFT in patients with SCA and in control individuals. From a total of 707 identified articles, articles related to 9 eligible and relevant studies were evaluated in the meta-analysis, involving 788 children with SCA and 1101 control individuals.

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