Surgery and anesthesia in sickle cell disease. Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Diseases.


Journal Article

From 1978 to 1988, The Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease observed 3,765 patients with a mean follow-up of 5.3 +/- 2.0 years. One thousand seventy-nine surgical procedures were conducted on 717 patients (77% sickle cell anemia [SS], 14% sickle hemoglobin C disease [SC], 5.7% S beta zero thalassemia, 3% S beta zero + thalassemia). Sixty-nine percent had a single procedure, 21% had two procedures, and the remaining 11% had more than two procedures during the study follow-up. The most frequent procedure was abdominal surgery for cholecystectomy or splenectomy (24% of all surgical procedures, N = 258). Of these, 93% received blood transfusion, and there was no association between preoperative hemoglobin A level and complication rates (except reduction in pain crisis). Overall mortality within 30 days of a surgical procedure was 1.1% (12 deaths after 1,079 surgical procedures). Three deaths were considered to be related to the surgical procedure and/or anesthesia (0.3%). No deaths were reported in patients younger than 14 years of age. Sickle cell diseases (SCD)-related complications after surgery were more frequent in SS patients who received regional compared with general anesthesia (adjusted for risk level of the surgical procedure, patient age, and preoperative transfusion status, P = .058). Non-SCD-related postoperative complications were higher in both SS and SC patients who received regional compared with those who received general anesthesia (P =.095). Perioperative transfusion was associated with a lower rate of SCD-related postoperative complications for SS patients undergoing low-risk procedures (P = .006, adjusted for age and type of anesthesia), with crude rated of 12.9% without transfusion compared with 4.8% with transfusion. In SC patients, preoperative transfusion was beneficial for all surgical risk levels (P = .009). Thus, surgical procedures can be performed safely in patients with SCD.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Koshy, M; Weiner, SJ; Miller, ST; Sleeper, LA; Vichinsky, E; Brown, AK; Khakoo, Y; Kinney, TR

Published Date

  • November 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 86 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 3676 - 3684

PubMed ID

  • 7579333

Pubmed Central ID

  • 7579333

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-0020

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-4971


  • eng