Original Research: Acute chest syndrome in sickle cell disease: Effect of genotype and asthma.
Sickle cell disease is a severe hemoglobinopathy caused by mutations in the beta globin genes. The disorder has protean manifestations and leads to severe morbidity and early mortality. Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is a common complication and in the USA is the leading cause of death in patients with sickle cell disease. Care of patients with sickle cell disease is complex and typically involves both primary care physicians and hematology subspecialists. The purpose of this study was first to attempt to validate in a pediatric sickle cell patient cohort associations between ACS and sickle cell disease genotype and between ACS and asthma as a comorbidity. The second purpose of the study was to study in a typical community the frequency with which asthma associated with ACS was addressed in terms of electronic medical record integration, pulmonary subspecialty consultation for management of asthma, and completion of pulmonary function testing (PFTs). A retrospective study of the electronic medical record of a children's hospital that provides most of the medical care for children in a portion of western New York state was performed. We found that ACS was more common in the sickle cell disease genotypes SS and S/beta-thalassemia-null, and that ACS was more frequent in patients treated for asthma. We also found that despite the use of a comprehensive electronic medical record, there was poor documentation of ACS and asthma episodes in the problem lists of patients with sickle cell disease, and that most patients with sickle cell disease with ACS or asthma failed to receive formal consultation services from pediatric pulmonary subspecialists.
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