Current management of sickle cell anemia

Patrick T. McGann, Alecia C. Nero, Russell E. Ware

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Proper management of sickle cell anemia (SCA) begins with establishing the correct diagnosis early in life, ideally during the newborn period. The identification of affected infants by neonatal screening programs allows early initiation of prophylactic penicillin and pneumo-coccal immunizations, which help prevent overwhelming sepsis. Ongoing education of families promotes the early recognition of disease-released complications, which allows prompt and appropriate medical evaluation and therapeutic intervention. Periodic evaluation by trained specialists helps provide comprehensive care, including transcranial Doppler examinations to identify children at risk for primary stroke, plus assessments for other paren-chymal organ damage as patients become teens and adults. Treatment approaches that previously highlighted acute vaso-occlusive events are now evolving to the concept of preventive therapy. Liberalized use of blood transfusions and early consideration of hydroxy-urea treatment represent a new treatment paradigm for SCA management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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