An official American Thoracic Society clinical practice guideline: diagnosis, risk stratification, and management of pulmonary hypertension of sickle cell disease.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: In adults with sickle cell disease (SCD), an increased tricuspid regurgitant velocity (TRV) measured by Doppler echocardiography, an increased serum N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) level, and pulmonary hypertension (PH) diagnosed by right heart catheterization (RHC) are independent risk factors for mortality. METHODS: A multidisciplinary committee was formed by clinician-investigators experienced in the management of patients with PH and/or SCD. Clinically important questions were posed, related evidence was appraised, and questions were answered with evidence-based recommendations. Target audiences include all clinicians who take care of patients with SCD. RESULTS: Mortality risk stratification guides decision making. An increased risk for mortality is defined as a TRV equal to or greater than 2.5 m/second, an NT-pro-BNP level equal to or greater than 160 pg/ml, or RHC-confirmed PH. For patients identified as having increased mortality risk, we make a strong recommendation for hydroxyurea as first-line therapy and a weak recommendation for chronic transfusions as an alternative therapy. For all patients with SCD with elevated TRV alone or elevated NT-pro-BNP alone, and for patients with SCD with RHC-confirmed PH with elevated pulmonary artery wedge pressure and low pulmonary vascular resistance, we make a strong recommendation against PAH-specific therapy. However, for select patients with SCD with RHC-confirmed PH who have elevated pulmonary vascular resistance and normal pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, we make a weak recommendation for either prostacyclin agonist or endothelin receptor antagonist therapy and a strong recommendation against phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence-based recommendations for the management of patients with SCD with increased mortality risk are provided, but will require frequent reassessment and updating.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Klings, ES; Machado, RF; Barst, RJ; Morris, CR; Mubarak, KK; Gordeuk, VR; Kato, GJ; Ataga, KI; Gibbs, JS; Castro, O; Rosenzweig, EB; Sood, N; Hsu, L; Wilson, KC; Telen, MJ; Decastro, LM; Krishnamurti, L; Steinberg, MH; Badesch, DB; Gladwin, MT; American Thoracic Society Ad Hoc Committee on Pulmonary Hypertension of Sickle Cell Disease,

Published Date

  • March 15, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 189 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 727 - 740

PubMed ID

  • 24628312

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3983842

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1535-4970

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1164/rccm.201401-0065ST


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States