The 10 percent of children with sickle cell disease who are at risk for a stroke need ongoing blood transfusions to reduce their risk, according to a study at 25 sites in North America.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the $11 million study headquartered at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, issued a clinical alert to coincide with the Dec. 5 announcement of study findings at the American Society of Hematology meeting in San Diego.
"Whatever process puts these children at risk is fairly durable," says Dr. Robert J. Adams, neurologist and stroke specialist at MCG and principal investigator on the Optimizing Primary Stroke Prevention in Children with Sickle Cell Anemia, or STOP II, study. "We believed that we had identified a group that might tolerate coming off transfusion but the results did not confirm this. Too many of those taken off had return of abnormal transcranial Doppler, the best indicator we have of stroke risk, and there were two strokes in this group. We need more research to come up with a better way to limit the use of transfusion while still preventing strokes."
Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
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